The Brexit process is threatening the rights of the LGBTI community, British lawyer Helena Kennedy warns.
After Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal was defeated by a historic margin in parliament, her government survived the no-confidence vote. However, the situation still feels uncertain ahead of the official Brexit date, 29 March 2019.
Will Brexit be the end of the ECHR?
In an interview with Reuters, Kennedy explained the lack of a government commitment to the Human Rights Act might be a sign the law will be replaced or repealed after Brexit.
The Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the British statute book. It protects citizens on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity.
‘If you’re a gay man or woman, a person who’s bisexual, a person who’s transsexual, just beware, this is what they have in mind,’ said Kennedy.
The human rights lawyer is also an opposition Labour member of the House of Lords. Moreover, she has always championed LGBTI rights. In 1996, she won a landmark ruling that made it illegal to discriminate against transgender people at work.
DUP poses a threat to LGBTI rights
Human rights are also at risk thanks to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a Northern Irish party that supports the government in key votes. The DUP also opposes marriage equality and legalizing abortion in Northern Ireland.
‘Take your signal from the fact that the DUP has been able to exercise so much power in this government.’
Kennedy furthermore added: ‘Look at this small group of people, who are deeply reactionary, homophobic, misogynistic.’