TWO-THIRDS OF PEOPLE IN THE MIDLANDS WORRIED THAT BREXIT WILL DIMINISH HUMAN RIGHTS – NEW POLLING

TWO-THIRDS OF PEOPLE IN THE MIDLANDS WORRIED THAT BREXIT WILL DIMINISH HUMAN RIGHTS – NEW POLLING 

  • 62% of people living in Midlands and Wales concerned to be left with fewer rights
  • 57% of Leave voters concerned about rights reduction 

 

Almost two-thirds of voters living in the Midlands and Wales are concerned at the prospect of their rights and protections being reduced after the UK exits the EU according to a new poll carried out by YouGov. The results are taken from a poll which looked at attitudes to rights and Brexit across the entire population of Great Britain.

The poll, commissioned by Amnesty International, found that 62% of voters in the Midlands and Wales would be concerned to be left with fewer rights and protections after Britain leaves the EU.            

There was also widespread concern about Government plans to give Ministers the power to amend and curtail laws and rights after Brexit, without needing to consult Parliament properly, under what have been termed ‘Henry VIII’ powers. With this issue too, concern was extensive with 52% of voters from the Midlands and Wales, reporting that they’d be concerned if Ministers were able to change and amend laws without consulting properly, or necessarily needing a vote in, Parliament.

There was general confusion about how leaving the EU would impact rights, with many people unclear what it would mean for them – 16% didn’t know how Brexit would impact rights, 39% thought they would have about the same protections as before, but 37% thought they would be left with fewer rights after Brexit. Only 15% thought they’d get more.  

Nationwide more than one in two (57%) people of all ages who voted Leave said they would be concerned to be left with fewer rights and protections after Brexit.

EU Withdrawal Bill concerns

The Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill includes a number of proposed changes to rights and protections for people in the UK after 29 March 2019, the current date for withdrawal. It is notable that of all the legislation carried across from the EU after the UK leaves, fundamental human rights protections are the only element not being brought across wholesale. In particular Amnesty criticised the Bill’s failure to retain the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in domestic law, weakening the protections currently available to people in the UK. Amnesty has also pointed out that the Bill fails to retain people’s ability to bring a case founded on the EU “general principles”, which include protections such as the right to equality. In addition, Amnesty has raised concerns about how the Bill hands sweeping powers to Ministers to widely alter legislation without appropriate parliamentary scrutiny, warning that such powers place current rights and equality laws at risk in the future.

The complete findings of the survey are available at 

https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/vmf99mjtut/AmnestyResults_180329_Rights.pdf

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