UK departure from ECHR would be akin to Brexit 2.0

Published on January 17, 2024

Britain’s departure from the ECHR would erode human rights and protections, while also causing further damage to the UK’s international reputation.  

The European Movement UK is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to commit to protecting Britain’s membership of the court.  

Sir Nick Harvey, CEO of European Movement UK, said:  

“There is a small, ultra right-wing faction of the Conservative party that wants to remove the UK from the European Court of Human Rights. The only other countries in Europe that don’t belong to the ECHR are Belarus and Russia. 

“While the Government’s Rwanda policy is concerning in itself, the possible departure of the UK from the ECHR would be utterly catastrophic. In terms of the impact it would have on our human rights and justice system, the departure would be an event on a scale akin to Brexit 2.0. 

“Since the UK became a member of the ECHR, the court has intervened 466 times to uphold human rights against the government. The ECHR ended the ban on gay people serving in the armed forces. The ECHR forced law change so that DNA records of innocent people are destroyed. The ECHR ensured that victims of domestic abuse gained exemption from the “bedroom tax”. 

“The impact of our membership of the ECHR reaches beyond a singular immigration policy and must be protected at all costs.  

“Sunak must make an explicit commitment to protecting our membership; this is an issue far greater than infighting amongst a small and unrepresentative group of politicians.” 


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