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Brexit and Europe Brexit and Europe

Consider our human rights legal framework after Brexit

Last updated: 02:58pm 14 October 2019

We will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway but we will consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.37

Our verdict

From the manifesto text above, you can see this policy is closely coupled with promise to maintain the Human Rights Act during the Brexit process (see ‘Related policies’ below). This policy, however, looks at what will happen after Brexit, and is a commitment from the government to consider alternative ‘legal frameworks’ once we leave the EU.

A ‘legal framework’ in this context is a ‘human rights legal framework’. It is essentially a set of principles that a government is bound to in order to protect human rights. It’s worth mentioning that uncertainty around how human rights will continue to be protected after Brexit has attracted criticism from human rights groups – and the Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee.

It’s also worth noting that this is only a promise to “consider” a new legal framework. This may mean that the government considers their options but decides not to implement a new framework (and does not scrap the Human Rights Act). We would still consider this ‘done’, as long as there is evidence that a new legal framework had been considered.

We wouldn’t expect this policy to be in progress until after we leave the EU. Given there may not be another election until June 2022, the government could have a lot more time to deliver on this promise. Follow this policy for updates.

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There's always room for debate

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