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Brexit and Europe Brexit and Europe

Maintain the Human Rights Act during the Brexit process

Last updated: 04:47pm 12 February 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

The Human Rights Act is a set of laws that allowed rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights to be incorporated into UK law. According to Liberty:

“The Human Rights Act is a UK law passed in 1998. It lets you defend your rights in UK courts and compels public organisations (including the Government, police and local councils) to treat everyone equally, with fairness, dignity and respect.”

Through this policy, the government is promising to protect the Human Rights Act – but only until we leave the EU. It’s not a commitment to protect it indefinitely.

What the government has committed to, is to “consider our human rights legal framework” after Brexit (see this policy), which, along with the policy to abandon the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (this policy) has caused it’s fair share of criticism from human rights groups – and the Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee.

Whatever your position, this policy can be considered as ‘done’ because, in line with how we treat promises to ‘continue to do something’, the Human Rights Act is still in place and there is no evidence of plans to scrap it before Brexit. We’ll be following this right up to our eventual exit from the EU so follow this policy for updates.

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