Labour MP Keir Starmer is set to force a vote in parliament to protect the EU Charter of Rights in the UK.
The Shadow Brexit Secretary and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said the vote was not “party political”, but instead “about the type of nation we want to be.”
He added: “Britain should be a proud advocate of human rights. The referendum does not require us to surrender our core values, including the robust protection of human rights.”
The move comes after the Government refused to transfer the charter into UK law after exiting the union in 2019, though it has provided a ‘right by right’ analysis.
Hang On, What Is The EU Charter Again?
Video Credit: Jack Satchell / RightsInfo
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has been a hot topic in the Brexit debate and has caused some divides between political parties.
It is entirely different from the Human Rights Convention, of which the UK is signed up to, and is also entirely separate from the European Union.
The Charter was essentially set up because the European Union itself is not a country and therefore can’t sign up to the Human Rights Convention. The Charter bridges that gap and makes sure EU law is in line with our human rights, as well as providing some additional protections in other areas.
These include rights for workers to stop unfair dismissal and have safe working conditions, as well as access to health care, social and housing assistance and protections as to how your personal data is handled.
It’s also worth noting that currently the UK only has to take note of the charter when it’s dealing with EU Law.
Okay, So Where Are We Now?
Dominic Grieve. Image Credit: Chatham House / Flickr
The Government has previously come under fire for not converting the Charter into UK Law, after Tory MP Dominic Grieve highlighted the issue.
Dominic Grieve doing brilliant job of explaining why, if we lose the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the passage of the EU Withdrawal Bill, some of our rights will be put at risk.
— Tom Brake (@thomasbrake) November 21, 2017
The Government has since published an analysis of the rights protected in the charter compared to the current UK law, however, Mr Starmer says this is “woefully inadequate”.
Setting out Labour’s first 2018 Brexit challenge to the govt. There will be many more …
The referendum does not require us to surrender our core values, including the robust protection of human rights. Nor will we. https://t.co/L6AVIl56iP
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) January 2, 2018
He continued: “The document they released fails to provide any assurance that essential rights will be protected once we leave the EU. On the contrary, it takes rights from the charter and scatters them back to their original sources – the polar opposite of effective human rights protection.
“We need a cast iron guarantee in law that the rights contained in the charter will be given the same legal protection as those currently contained in the Human Rights Act.”