Do not play politics with human rights

Phil Boswell MP wishes the UK to remain part of the EU
Phil Boswell MP wishes the UK to remain part of the EU

Bellshill MP Phil Boswell has attacked any suggestion the United Kingdom should resign from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Amongst the announcements in the recent Queen’s Speech, written by Conservative Ministers, was proposals to bring forward a “British Bill of Rights”.

Mr Boswell, who also represents Coatbridge and Chryston, believes this is a political move by Prime Minister to appease Eurosceptics in his party ahead of this month’s EU referendum.

He said: “The scrapping of the Human Rights Act and its replacement with a British Bill of Rights poses a serious risk to the basic human rights which we enjoy.

“The move is a political one, which prioritises appeasing David Cameron’s more Eurosceptic backbenchers given the upcoming EU referendum over protecting our fundamental rights.

“The Human Rights Act incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights into British law, requires all public bodies to respect and protect human rights.”

Last month Home Secretary Theresa May advocated abandoning the European Convention regardless of the outcome of the EU referendum.

Mr Boswell believes this would be the first step towards eroding many of the basic rights UK citizens take for granted, including: the right to life, the freedom from inhumane treatment, the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial, respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, belief, and religion, freedom of expression, and protection from discrimination, amongst others.

He said: “Supporters of scrapping the Human Rights Act in favour of a British Bill of Rights argue that the new legislation would continue to protect our rights.

“Yet if one wants to see how a domestic Bill of Rights can fail on a mass scale to protect human rights, you only need to look to America.

“Many commentators have argued that since the beginning of the “War on Terror” there has been creeping infringement on human rights by the US Government which the Bill of Rights is intended to protect.

“The fact the Prime Minister is willing to play politics with the basic human rights we in Scotland enjoy demonstrates exactly why membership of the EU is vital so that neither this Tory Government, nor any future UK Government without mandate from the people of Scotland, has unfettered power.”