News News & press releases EU Withdrawal Bill will not protect UK rights: Fawcett signs open letter 14 JANUARY 2018 A group of more than 20 organisations and human rights legal experts has signed an open letter on the importance of the Charter of Fundamental Rights ahead of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill returning to Parliament this week. The letter was published in the Observer. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill – returning to the House of Commons this week – will not protect people’s rights in the UK as the Government promised. This is in large part because the Bill removes the Charter of Fundamental Rights from our law. The Charter protects rights important to all of us: including rights to dignity, protection of personal data and health; and protections for workers, women, children, and older people, LGBTI and disabled people. The Government’s analysis of the Charter repeats its assurance that rights will not be weakened following Brexit. However, independent legal advice shows this to be wrong. Losing it creates a human rights hole because the Charter provides some rights and judicial remedies that have no clear equivalents in UK law. Furthermore, by keeping the wide and complex body of EU law while throwing away the Charter which is the code to unlock it, the Government risks creating confusion, jamming itself in a mountain of legal cases. Rights without remedies are just symbols. We need legal guarantees in the Bill about the kind of society we want to be after Brexit. For the Government to honour its promise of preserving existing rights it must retain the protections in the Charter. Signatories: Adam Wagner, BarristerAmnesty International UKBritish Institute of Human RightsChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandCoramEquality Commission for Northern IrelandEquality and Diversity ForumEquality and Human Rights CommissionFawcett SocietyGender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES)Jonathan Cooper OBEJust FairLibertyNational Aids TrustNational Alliance of Women's Organisations (NAWO)The Northern Ireland Human Rights CommissionSchona Jolly QCScottish Human Rights CommissionUK Race and Europe NetworkUK Women’s Budget GroupUnlock DemocracyWales Observatory on Human Rights of Children Read more For hundreds of years, women have worked to achieve basic rights at home, at work and in public life; rights that could be eroded when Britain leaves the European Union. We launched Face Her Future with over 20 women's and equalities organisations as a collective call to action to defend our rights, and chart a course for a more equal, progressive future. Do you believe in defending our rights post-Brexit? Find out how to take action on our Face Her Future campaign here. Join the fight to ensure women are equally and fairly represented at the Brexit negotiating table. Join us today.