Britain should remain a proud signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), based in part on English common law with its introduction championed by the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, emerged after the horrors of World War Two to protect individual liberty from abusive and intrusive power, especially from an overreaching state.  

The ECHR outlines absolute rights such as the right not to be tortured and the right to a fair trial, alongside rights which can be limited in restricted circumstances, such as the right to life and the right to liberty. There are 47 countries who are members of the Council of Europe, which requires the ratification of the ECHR.

The judgments of the European Court of Human Rights have strengthened human rights in Britain, as well as in more oppressive countries. Those judgments include the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, the rights of the media against state censorship, more effective prosecution of domestic violence, and the rights of illegitimate children. Polling shows the British public are overwhelmingly in favour of the rights enshrined in the articles in the ECHR.

The UK should be a proud signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights, which originally exported English common law to the rest of Europe and now enhances the freedom and protections of people across the continent. We urge the Government to confirm that the UK will remain a signatory to the ECHR after Brexit.

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