Fears of post-Brexit fall in human rights standards spark new inquiry

The deadline is approaching to have your say on human rights and the UK’s post-Brexit international agreements.

After Brexit, could the UK government sign international trade agreements allowing the export of goods that are used in torture?

Could the government sign extradition treaties that lead to individuals being sent to countries where they are not guaranteed fair trials?

Questions like these have led the Joint Committee on Human Rights to launch an inquiry into whether the UK Parliament should set up mechanisms to scrutinise international agreements for compliance with human rights.

At Lacuna, we have been arguing for a long time that the UK Parliament has a vital role to play in ensuring that the UK signs trade agreements that are human rights compliant.

Writing on the ethics of UK trade policy, I suggested: “We need a UK Parliament that…carefully scrutinizes our government’s efforts to strike trade deals with countries with very dubious human rights records.

“And we need human rights advocates within the UK Parliament who…carefully interrogate what a truly ethical UK trade policy actually entails.”

This inquiry could be the catalyst for just that kind of scrutiny.

If you want to make your voice heard, respond to the inquiry before January 17. 

Main image by Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916.