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The summary of the draft Political Declaration was published on the 14th November 2018, outlining the future relationship between the EU and the UK, following Brexit.
The document aimed to establish “...the parameters of an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership across trade and economic co-operation, law enforcement and criminal justice, foreign policy, security and defence and wider areas of co-operation.”
The draft indicated that the relationship between the UK and our European allies following Brexit would be underpinned by a “reaffirmation of the United Kingdom’s commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)”. The draft clearly identified that there would be a “continued adherence to the ECHR and its system of enforcement” when enforcing the law and obtaining judicial co-operation in criminal matters.
The final Political Declaration document was published 7 days later and significant dilution of this commitment was apparent. In draft, the UK had merely agreed to “respect the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Edward Argar, a junior minister stated in a letter to the House Of Lords Committee, that the government will decide on the future of the law once “the process of leaving the EU concludes.”
The chair of this committee, Baroness Kennedy responded by questioning the governmental changes on the ECHR post-Brexit, saying:“Again and again we are told that the government is committed to the European Convention on Human Rights, but without concrete commitment, and with messaging that is changing and becoming diluted.”
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