Protecting human rights post Brexit

The Government promised that the EU Withdrawal Bill would bring across all the EU laws and turn them into British laws, so why aren’t they doing that? By exempting the Charter of Fundamental Rights they are significantly weakening the current system of human rights protection in the UK. If that is their intention, then let the Government have a proper discussion about it, rather than sneaking it through as an exemption in part of the much broader debate about the EU Bill.

I co-signed Plaid Peer Dafydd Wigley’s amendment 35 to the EU Withdrawal Bill because the Charter of Fundamental Rights is crucial to social justice and civil liberties in this country. The eminent lawyer Lord Pannick QC noted in the debate that “there is no other area of retained EU law where the Government have carried out this exercise or said that we do not need to read across a particular provision because it is already in domestic law. Why are they making an exception of the Charter?”

The Government is using the EU Withdrawal Bill as an excuse to push through their right wing ideological agenda, whilst some in the media brand us who oppose them as ‘traitors’. It is the Government’s stated aim, and manifesto commitment, to repeal the Human Rights Act in this Parliament. I hope the Lords stand up against this bullying and protect our fundamental rights by revising this bad legislation.​





I still want to leave the EU, but I absolutely cannot support the [Government’s] Bill as it stands.

My speech to the Lords yesterday here and below

My Lords, I did something very controversial during the EU referendum campaign: I went against my own party’s remain position. I campaigned to leave the EU because the EU is a top-down project designed to promote endless industrial development and economic growth. It remains my strongly held belief that we can have a greener, fairer, healthier country by leaving the European Union. In taking this view, I feel a strong personal responsibility to Greens everywhere and to the country to do what I can to ensure that Brexit is a success for the environment. I still want to leave the EU, but I absolutely cannot support the Bill as it stands. Continue reading “I still want to leave the EU, but I absolutely cannot support the [Government’s] Bill as it stands.”

A 25 Year Environment Strategy that won’t last five minutes

The Government’s long awaited 25 year strategy for saving the environment will make very little impact on decisions made in the Treasury or other Ministries, unless there is hard law to make sure it all happens. 

With the UK government already in breach of many of its environmental commitments, environmental campaigners are increasingly reaching for the law in order to make change happen. Client Earth have taken the Government to court over air pollution, and won three times. It’s taken repeated legal threats from the EU for the Government to do anything about cleaning up our polluted rivers. Continue reading “A 25 Year Environment Strategy that won’t last five minutes”

Sentient creatures and Brexit

The Commons came within 18 votes of passing a Caroline Lucas amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have included protection of sentient creatures. Early next year I shall put this same amendment to the Lords. It is an existing EU principle and one of many principles underpinning EU law and regulation that have been rejected as amendments by the government.

Continue reading “Sentient creatures and Brexit”

Pesticides in our food, our soil and our countryside

I asked the Government what steps they are taking to protect rural communities from pesticides and whether they intend to adopt non-chemical farming methods post-Brexit. It is almost inevitable that my question achieves little more than raising a neglected issue on behalf of neglected communities. However, it does allow other peers to join in with their own set of constituent concerns or issues. Continue reading “Pesticides in our food, our soil and our countryside”