Brexit: The rights of EU citizens in
1 ” What’s happening now?” < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887 > accessed 23rd Dec 2017.
2 ”What is European Union?” < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887 > accessed 23rd Dec 2017.
3 ”What is Article 50?” < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887 > accessed 24th Dec 2017.
4 ”Steps to UK leaving the EU” < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887 > accessed 24th Dec 2017.
5 John Wadham, Helen Mountfield and Anna Edmundson, Blackstone’s Guide to The Human Rights Act 1998 (3rd edn, OUP 2003) ch 1, pg 8.
6 ” What about Britons living in the EU?” < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42279408 > accessed 25th Dec 2017.
7 ” Brexit: The rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU” < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42279408 > accessed 25th November 2017.
8 ”How will Brexit affect UK equality and human rights law?” < https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-human-rights-work/what-does-brexit-mean-equality-and-human-rights-uk > accessed 26th Dec 2017.
9 Nicki Georghiou and Angus Evans ” Brexit: the impact on equalities and human rights (2016)” < http://www.parliament.scot/ResearchBriefingsAndFactsheets/S5/SB_16-82_Brexit-the_impact_on_equalities_and_human_rights.pdf > accessed 27th December 2017.
10 ”UK employment rights and the EU” < https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/UK%20employment%20rights%20and%20the%20EU.pdf > accessed 29th Dec 2017.
In conclusion, the impact of Brexit on the Human Rights Act 1998 will depend on the laws passed while the UK leaves the European Union and what rights are discussed by the negotiators. However, they are various instances shown above that prove that the impact of Brexit could not necessarily lower the protection of equality and Human rights as it is still unsure how the UK and the EU negotiators are working towards protecting the rights of the UK citizens as well as protecting the Human Rights Act 1998. Brexit would not mean scrapping the Human rights act 1998, but it might also prove to be dangerous because when rights are triggered with it is not an easy issue to amend them. The UK citizens expect that their rights are safeguarded through the process of Brexit and are not triggered with as they have trusted the government enough to put through their votes.
These rights are supplied by the EU to the UK and the EU expects the UK to act in accordance with the rules they come with. The UK government has promised to protect all rights that are under workers’/ employers’ rights, but this is not certain until Brexit has taken place. Brexit could prove harmful towards these rights, this is because even after the UK promises to protect these rights there is no guarantee these rights will stay the way they are, the government might alter changes to these rights causing chaos amongst unaccepted citizens.
There are also many rights the UK offers to its citizens which are supplied by the EU, it obliges the UK to have them, one of which is employment rights. Employment rights is a directly from the EU law, Employment rights was introduced by the EU, this brought about a lot of changes in the UK, it introduced a maximum of 48 working hour a week, it also introduced maternity leave, allowing women who had just even birth leave a maximum of 52 weeks and a minimum of 14 weeks and a lot of more others10
Section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires that primary and subordinate legislation is suggested to be read and interpreted in a way that is compatible with the Convention rights. This brings up a question British lawyers are looking for an answer for, how are laws originating from the EU but transferred into English Law under the European Union bill expected to be interpreted in a way that will be compatible with the Convention rights. This situation will also be much more difficult to interpret the UK VAT law which was introduced by the European Union and it ensures the free movements of goods and persons between EU countries. This situation is still unclear to the UK lawyers and they hope to find answers for this.
Although no one knows precisely what the UK’s relationship with EU will look like Post-Brexit, the impact of Brexit on the Human Rights Act 1998 will depend on the laws passed while the UK leaves the EU. The rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act 1998 are under ECHR which is from the Council of Europe and not the European Union.8 Leaving the EU will mean any future equality and human rights protection from the European Union will no longer be binding in UK laws, this is however not necessary. This will be determined by the way UK breaks ties with EU and continues its relationship with the EU, it has been suggested that the UK will negotiate the trade agreement with the EU. Therefore, leaving the EU would not necessarily lower the protection of equality and Human rights. 9
The EU and UK citizens living in the UK will have freedom of movement until UK withdraws from the EU on the -29 March 2019. Anyone who arrives before the withdrawal day has the right to stay in the UK. The EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit will have their rights enshrined into the UK laws, however, the European Court of Justice will have the power to make legal decisions and judgments over them for the next 8 years after Brexit. According to the latest deal between the UK government and the EU, the rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK and the UK citizens living in the EU countries will be protected post-Brexit.7 In accordance with the EU law freedom of movement for the EU citizens in the UK will stop after Brexit, this will enable the EU citizens to acquire a ‘settled status’ in the UK, this is however for EU citizens who have been living in the UK for 5 years.
After Brexit, UK citizens living in any of the EU countries or one who wishes to move to any EU country will have the right to stay in that country. However, the moving restrictions will not be the same for the UK citizens living in the EU as the EU citizens living in the UK. A UK citizen after Brexit can visit any EU country for holiday without restrictions, however, if the UK citizen decides to reside in any of the EU countries and does not want any restrictions he/she will have to apply for the passport of the country he/she is residing in.6
The Human Rights Act 1998 lets the UK citizens defend themselves and protect themselves in the UK courts. The Human Rights protects everyone, and people use it to achieve justice. The main aim of the Human Rights Act 1998 was to incorporate into the UK laws the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Human Rights Act 1998 can be used by anyone regardless of their colour, religion or whether they are UK born citizens or foreigners of another nation. These rights can also be used but companies and public organizations.
The Human Rights Act 1998 is a UK law that lets citizens defend themselves, it received royal assent in 1998, however, it didn’t come into effect until 2000. ”It is a special statute imbued with constitutional significance. It is described in its long title as an Act to ”give further effect” to the rights and freedoms guaranteed under Convention.”5
”The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other.” 2 Article 50 was a plan created for any European country willing to leave the EU, the agreement was signed by all member-states of the EU and came into effect in 2009. It is a short document of only 5 paragraphs that states that any European Country that is willing to leave the EU must notify the European Council about its withdrawal and must negotiate it and it must allow two (2) years to reach an agreement and it also needs approval from all 20 European countries with 65% of the population.3 After two years withdrawal can be extended if the 27 member-countries agree but if not, EU treaties cease to apply to the UK.4
Due to the Referendum- (a Yes or No vote that everyone of voting age can vote) held on the 29th June 2016, the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union, the decision by the UK citizens to leave EU won and this resulted to David Cameron the then Prime Minister resigning. David Cameron was replaced by the former Home Secretary, Theresa May. Brexit simple means the UK leaving the European Union. The decision to leave the EU was a choice, the decision to hold the Referendum was also a choice.1
This essay will examine the impact of Brexit on the Human Rights Act 1998, how protected the rights of European Union citizens living in the UK and the rights of UK citizens living in the EU is and the Human Rights Act 1998 will be after Brexit.