Diane Abbott says we must resist calls to scrap Human Rights Act: 'It would be a grave setback'

Dominic Raab recently revealed plans for a new British Bill of Rights which could replace the Human Rights Act

Published

Diane Abbott has said we must resist calls to scrap the Human Rights Act, saying it would be a “grave setback for all our civil liberties.”

The Human Rights Act is incorporated into domestic law rights set out in the European convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

But recently Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has outlined plans for a new British Bill of Rights which could replace the Human Rights Act.

Mr Raab introduced the proposed legislation after the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg disrupted the Government’s controversial flagship policy for asylum seekers who arrive on unauthorised journeys.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab
Diane Abbott
Diane Abbott

He wants the successor to the Human Rights Act to assert that British courts do not always need to follow case law from Strasbourg and that the Supreme Court in London is the ultimate decision-maker on human rights issues.

But Ms Abbott doesn’t believe replacing the Human Rights act would be a good move.

She said: “The Government’s threat to scrap the Human Rights Act would be a grave set-back for all our civil liberties and hard-won freedoms.

“It might take a generation or more to reverse, and clearly needs both more concerted and robust opposition than to date.

“The move would fit in with the Government’s entire programme and policy, which is to ride roughshod over human rights."

She continued on Left Foot Forward: “This Government has already produced a slew of legislation in this area, from the spycops Bill, to the Overseas Operations Bill, to the proposed Policing Bill as well as others. Each of them represents a move to increase the powers of the state, reduce its accountability and reduce the rights of citizens.

“Taken together, they amount to a hard-right turn of an increasingly authoritarian government that is intent on fundamentally reducing human rights in this country.

“Because there is so much misinformation about the Human Rights Act, it is worth setting out the factual position."