Protocol to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement with respect to Ireland/N.Ireland
The BrexitLawNI Project at Queen's University gives its initial reflections on the human rights and equality aspects of the Protocol to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement with respect to Ireland/N. Ireland
- Welcome the commitment to no diminution on rights, safeguards and equality of opportunity, and in relation to the protection against discrimination in EU law.
- Understand that this must embrace inclusion of the CFREU among other things, and recommend amendment of the draft text if this is not in fact the case.
- Emphasise the importance of protecting the human rights of everyone in both jurisdictions and note that guarantees must evolve progressively over time in line with best practice.
- Stress that human rights and equality must be at the centre of any alternative agreement – the Protocol is clearly a ‘backstop’.
- Note the need to embed human rights and equality throughout the emerging processes, standards and institutions envisaged in this Draft Agreement, including in any newly formulated British-Irish arrangements for the CTA and, for example, in the work of the Joint Committee and Specialised Committee.
- Welcome provisions which make further development of the CTA conditional on full respect for the rights of natural persons in EU law and which seek to secure unfettered free movement of EU citizens and their families to, from and within Ireland.
- Underline that the most effective way to mitigate the complex and difficult rights and equality challenges that will inevitably emerge as a direct consequence of Brexit is to renew the focus on a Bill of Rights for N. Ireland and a Charter of Rights for the island.
- Are deeply concerned about the destabilising impact of the ongoing lack of respect for equal citizenship for British and Irish citizens in N. Ireland and Irish citizens on the island.
- Welcome the attempt to tackle fear and uncertainty amongst migrant communities through the protections and processes offered for securing their status in the EU and the UK.
Originally appeared on the BrexitLawNI website.