On Tuesday 14 June, an eleventh-hour ruling of the European Court of Human Rights prevented the government from implementing its inhumane policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. The Rwanda policy is subject to a judicial review challenging its legality. The European court has said that until the legality of the policy was decided in the UK, asylum seekers should not be deported there.
Predictably, the Conservative government has now launched a moral panic over our membership of the European Court of Human Rights. Successive Conservative governments have routinely denounced the body - but never followed through on their threats to leave. But we can’t be complacent. Act now. Write to your MP today.
Send this message to your MP:
I write to urge you to defend the Human Rights Act against government threats to repeal it. The Human Rights Act is a fundamental element of the British constitution. It protects the basic rights of everyone in the UK and underpins our claims to be a functioning democracy.
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which the Human Rights Act enshrines in UK law, keeps the UK on par with the rest of Europe. The UK signed the convention in the wake of the Second World War. To leave it now would send a grave signal to the rest of the world ending the UK’s outward commitment to a rules-based and rights-based international order.
Basic rights, such as the right to a fair trial, to liberty and security and to the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, must be protected. A British ‘Bill of Rights’ would take the UK away from existing international mechanisms of enforcement and lower the UK’s human rights standing against the rest of the world.
Leaving the ECHR would endanger existing international agreements and threaten the political stability of the UK. Under the Good Friday Agreement, the ECHR underpins human rights guarantees in Northern Ireland. It also helps ensure judicial and legal cooperation with the EU under the terms of the Brexit deal.
Amidst a cost of living crisis; energy and labour shortages; and the rapid decline of the pound, ripping up human rights law would make it even more difficult to trade and negotiate with international partners, who require parity of basic legal standards.
I urge you to speak out publicly in defence of the Human Rights Act, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights; organise your colleagues in parliament against government threats to repeal the HRA; and vote against any attempts to repeal it.
Under this government, the UK has become an international embarrassment. Please defend my basic rights as a citizen. Please do everything in your power to stop the UK’s further slide into authoritarianism and economic crisis.