‘Equality is a right, not a hand-out or a tool for political negotiations.’
Oxford Human Rights Hub have published the conclusions of a September 2017 workshop on the impact of Brexit on equality law.
These conclusions, The Impact of Brexit on Equality Rights (pdf) focus on five questions:
- How can the right to equality best be protected and advanced while at the same time respecting Parliamentary sovereignty?
a. Should there be a preamble stating the values behind the EA to guide judicial interpretation?
b. Should there be a ‘non-retrogression’ clause to protect existing rights?
c. How can the EA be protected in the Withdrawal Bill?
d. How can we be sure that the powers devolved to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are preserved in relation to equality, especially in the light of proposals for attempting to regulate trade on a UK wide basis?
- Should the existing case-law from the Court of Justice of the European Union continue to play a role in the development of the right to equality, and if so what role?
- What role should the Human Rights Act 1998 play in protecting equality rights and should the UK’s remaining international commitments on the right to equality be given a more prominent role after Brexit?
- How should particular rights be protected, for example rights to equal pay for work of equal value, protection for pregnant workers and parental leave and equal rights for part-time workers?
- What clauses are needed in future free trade agreements to protect rights?