The EU and the rights of NI citizens

 

Sir, – As human rights activists working across the island of Ireland, we strongly support the joint declaration on human rights and equality made by the leaders of four political parties in Northern Ireland.

Brexit threatens human rights by removing the protections of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, diluting the EU citizenship rights of Irish citizens and eradicating those of British citizens who reside in Northern Ireland and upsetting the constitutional balance underpinning the Belfast Agreement.

Brexit will breach the principle of equivalence of rights protections across the island, threaten North-South cooperation and potentially introduce an increasingly hostile and racist environment for migrants. The Conservative Party is also committed to the repeal of the Human Rights Act which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.

In these circumstances, it is vital that political leaders stand fast in defence of human rights and equality. It is only around the principles of fairness and respect for human dignity that we can build a shared society both in the North and across the island. We therefore welcome the statement by the four parties and urge the Brexit negotiators in the EU and the UK to implement its recommendations. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN GORMALLY,

Committee on the

Administration of Justice;

LIAM HERRICK,

Irish Council

for Civil Liberties;

Prof COLIN HARVEY,

Queen’s University Belfast;

Prof RORY O’CONNELL,

Director,

Transitional Justice

Institute,

Ulster University;

Prof DONNCHA

O’CONNELL,

School of Law,

NUI, Galway;

PATRICIA McKEOWN,

Regional Secretary,

Unison;

Prof FIONNUALA

NÍ AOLÁIN,

Ulster University;

Prof LOUISE MALLINDER,

Ulster University.