Today, 10 December 2017 is Human Rights Day. To mark the occasion, English PEN joins the British Institute of Human Rights and 145 British NGOs in a statement in support for human rights, which urges the British government not to tamper with the Human Rights Act 1998. The letter, which is published in the Sunday Telegraph, reads:
Dear Prime Minister,
Today, on Human Rights Day, we celebrate universal human rights. These freedoms, written down after World War II in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have been brought home through the UK’s Human Rights Act and European laws.
We face great constitutional change and uncertainty as your government seeks to navigate taking the UK out of the EU. Now is the time to focus on securing the everyday rights of people across the country. Rather than tampering with our hard-won fundamental freedoms, whether in the Human Rights Act or EU Charter, these legal standards must endure now and post-Brexit.
We ask you to avoid isolation and division, committing instead to stand firm on universal human rights standards as the foundation of a forward-looking UK.
You can see the full list of signatories on the British Institute for Human Rights website.