British Government plans to suspend the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) are hugely retrograde and a threat to citizens everywhere, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said.
She was commenting after the British Defence Secretary reiterated a plan to suspend parts of the European Convention before embarking on ‘military operations’.
Martina Anderson said: “This is a hugely retrograde step that threatens the rights of citizens everywhere because basically, the British Government is saying that it wants to embark on military adventures around the world without having to worry about anything as troubling as the rights of individual citizens.
“They want to set aside protections such as the right to life and the right to liberty and that tells you everything you need to know about the British Government and its intentions.
“They have already announced their plans to scrap the Human Rights Act – the same act which underpins the Good Friday Agreement, gives effect to the ECHR and gives citizens access to the European Court of Human Rights.
“This is all part of an ideological crusade by the British Government to remove themselves from any means of accountability or international scrutiny. It should be rigorously opposed.”
A member of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Martina Anderson added: “The Human Rights Act and the Convention have been crucial to numerous significant developments in recent times. Article Two of the Convention deals with the right to life. It is via this article that both the Hillsborough families and the Loughinisland families were able to pursue truth recovery.
“We have commissioned and made available specific legal opinion on the scrapping of the Human Rights Act. This report concludes that the scrapping of the Human Rights Act would constitute a grave threat to the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Féin will continue to oppose any attempt by the British Government to dilute or remove human rights protections.”