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Tory threat to Human Rights – Adams

27 May, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today secured a commitment from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny that he will raise concerns about Tory government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and hold an in-out referendum on EU membership, with the British Prime Minister when he meets him in several weeks’ time.

The British Queen’s speech to Parliament, which took place this morning, sets out the British government’s legislative programme for the year ahead.

Speaking in the Dáil shortly after the speech was given the Sinn Féin leader raised his concerns about plans by the Tory government to repeal the Human Rights Act.

In recent days the Chief Commissioner of the north’s Human Rights Commission, Les Allamby, who has described the Human Rights Act as ‘a force for good’, has expressed his disquiet at any diminution of human rights law in the north.

The Committee on the Administration of Justice has also criticised Tory threats to the Human Rights Act and to Britain resiling from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Teachta Adams said:

“This morning’s speech outlining British government intentions has confirmed that the Tories plan to bring forward proposals for a British Bill of Rights. British government ministers and media briefings have made clear Conservative determination to displace the European Convention of Human Rights and to repeal the Human Rights Act.

“The speech has also confirmed that there will be an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

“These two measures have enormous implications for this island. Any lessening of human rights law and specifically the repeal of the Human Rights Act would be a grievous breach of the Good Friday Agreement. It would seriously undermine the institutional architecture of that agreement, particularly in respect of policing and justice matters.

“Any decision to leave the European Union would have enormous economic consequences for the island of Ireland but especially for the economy of the north. The agricultural industry and community which especially rely on EU funding would be seriously damaged.”

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