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Expert comment: Brexit, rights, and the (potential) scrapping of the HRA

Dr Brian Jones 150x150 Monday 21 March 2016

Law Lecturer Dr Brian Christopher Jones comments on the relationship between a British exit from the European Union (Brexit) and human rights in a piece for the Oxford Human Rights Hub blog.

In Brexit, rights, and the (potential) scrapping of the HRA, Dr Jones looks to dispel the myths surrounding what a British exit from the EU could mean for the future of the Human Rights Act (HRA).

Dr Jones argued: “Brexit and the HRA are mutually exclusive: a Brexit vote would not mean the scrapping of the HRA, only the imminent repeal of the European Communities Act 1972. The rights in the HRA relating to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) would remain intact, as would the ECtHR’s watch over these rights. And although the ECtHR does not have enforcement powers, it does perform an invaluable role regarding human rights discussion and debate throughout the EU, and has ultimately served Britain well.

“Should a vote for Brexit occur, workers’ rights (such as paid holiday, maternity leave, and fair treatment at work) would largely be affected. EU membership provides for transfer of undertakings (TUPE) rules, which offer some form of protection for workers whose jobs are transferred or outsourced. Whether these will be replaced with similar measures has yet to be addressed by the Government. Thus, a vote for Brexit could mean a vote against the continuation of particular EU labour rights.”

Read the full article on the OxHRH Blog

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