B&NES votes to back ‘British Bill of Rights’

Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have voted to back Government plans to create a ‘British Bill of Rights’.

At a Full Council meeting last Thursday, 16th July, Councillors voted in favour of a Conservative proposal which voiced support for the idea of a British Bill of Rights.

During the debate, Conservative Councillors argued that creating a British Bill of Rights would give greater clarity to the public over the balance between rights and responsibilities in Britain, whilst at the same time protecting the fundamental human rights of all citizens as set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

By reaffirming the UK Supreme Court as the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in Britain, Conservatives also argued that replacing the current Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights would mean that more decisions could be taken by British Courts, rather than by judges in Strasbourg.

Councillor Michael Evans (Cons, Midsomer Norton North), who moved the proposal on behalf of the Conservatives, said:

“From the Magna Carta in 1215 to the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950, Britain has a long and proud history of protecting human rights.

“But sadly, in recent years public confidence in the Human Rights Act has been seriously undermined due to some perverse decisions which judges in Strasbourg have tried to impose on Britain, such as giving prisoners the right to vote.

“By replacing Labour’s Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, we would be able to protect the fundamental human rights of all citizens whilst at the same time reaffirming the role of UK Courts as the ultimate arbiters over human rights matters here in Britain.

“I’m therefore very pleased that B&NES has voted to back the creation of a British Bill of Rights.”