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Welsh Gov to explore Welsh Bill of Rights after condemning UK Government over ‘callous’ asylum plans

03 May 2022 4 minute read
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent. Picture by Gareth Fuller / PA Wire.

The Welsh Government have said that they will explore the creation of a Welsh Bill of Rights in order to “mitigate” the impact of new UK Government legislation on asylum seekers.

It comes after Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats condemned the UK Government for what they called an “assault on human rights” over the Nationality and Borders Act.

Ministers and Senedd Members blasted the UK Government over the legislation which they branded as “callous, unconstitutional and in complete opposition to Welsh values and the founding principles of the Senedd”.

Ministers also outlined a new plan to release Welsh specific UN reports and explore a Welsh Bill of Rights.

The UK Government say that the Nationality and Borders Act will deter illegal entry into the UK, breaking the business model of people-smuggling networks, and speed up the removal of those with no right to be in the UK.

This will in turn free up the asylum system so we can better support those in genuine need of asylum through safe and legal routes, they said.

But Counsel General Mick Antoniw said that “the UK Governments actions clearly demonstrate a calculated effort to undermine all of our basic human rights”.

“We are meeting in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, we would hope to be standing foursquare with the UK Government on human rights at this time, that is simply not possible,” he said.

“Their proposals give only the signal to the world that the UK is backtracking on human rights. Their efforts seek to erode not strengthen.

“If these proposals are carried into law, they would weaken the rights of all UK citizens, it would reduce access to justice and target the most vulnerable people in our society, including disabled people and those in poverty.

“The proposals also seek to distinguish between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ people or cases, which strikes at the heart of the principle that human rights should apply equally to everyone.”

‘Mitigate’

The Minister Welsh Government committed to a detailed plan of action which will explore incorporating UN Conventions into Welsh law which they said could potentially lead to a Welsh Bill of Rights.

Ministers stated: “If the UK Government continue down this destructive and harmful path, the Welsh Government would like to consider the potential scope of what could be achieved through a Bill in Wales.

“The purpose of such a Bill would be to strengthen human rights and mitigate as far as possible the negative impacts of actions by the UK Government.

“We will also, for the first time, publish our own response to the United Nations on how we have furthered rights in Wales. This will be a significant step and demonstrates how gravely we take our responsibilities and commitments.”

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said that the step cam after they had made their opposition to the UK Government bills “abundantly clear on numerous occasions and in the strongest terms”.

“They are entirely incompatible with the values we hold dear in Wales,” she said.

“The United Nations is right in what they say on the Nationality and Borders Act in particular. Five independent UN Experts have issued the most grave and heart-wrenching warning.

“They state that the Act would seriously undermine the protection of trafficked persons, including children. It would allow women who have experienced gender-based violence to be turned away rather than seek sanctuary.

“UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Siobhán Mullally said this was ‘…in violation of international law’.”


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Erisan
Erisan
4 months ago

Drakeford, who stopped parkrun and the selling of kids books, talking about bill of rights!

Kurt C
Kurt C
4 months ago
Reply to  Erisan

Talking nonsense. Kids books are never banned

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Kurt C

I think she is referring to closing of the non-food aisles in Tesco…

Llinos
Llinos
4 months ago
Reply to  Erisan

Yes, protecting the population from Coronavirus was sooo evil.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago

Will the Bill of Rights include English subjects or will they still be intensely disliked by most commenters on this site? Asking for a friend.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

What the hell are you on? A Bill of Rights is for everyone. And it’s not about any dislike of the English people but a distaste for the English establishment. There is a difference you know.

Llinos
Llinos
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Cymru does not have subjects. It has citizens. Once we are free of the backwards medieval wonderland of England and your queen anyway.
It’s always fun to see the oppressors hiding behind their fellow citizens (subjects?) to play the victim card. Just like Russia did when Ukraine fought back.
It’s almonds like they all have the same “Oppression For Dummies” handbook

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

I suggest if Mark Drakeford & Welsh Government propose a Welsh Bill of Rights not do as Carwyn Jones did with the bill to protect the sanctity of Welsh devolution when he was sweet-talked by Theresa May into repealing it without any caveats attached as insurance because we wouldn’t be where we are now with the Conservative power grab if that bill was still Welsh law.

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

I’m very concerned by the UK governments proposal to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, especially when the UK does not have a written constitution. Our rights as individuals needs to be enshrined, and not dependent on whatever government is in power in Westminster. Human Rights is paramount and not up for a democratic debate.

thuggee
thuggee
4 months ago

can we exclude english tories from a bill of rights?

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