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Ensuring strong equalities legislation after EU exit

14 October 2016

Following on from a one-off session on the possible impact of Brexit on the equalities agenda, the Women and Equalities Committee launches an inquiry to examine further the implications of leaving the EU on equalities legislation and policy in the UK.

Chair's comments

Committee Chair, Maria Miller, said

"Our new inquiry, Ensuring Strong Equalities Legislation outside the EU, is launched against the backdrop of growing consensus on the need for robust parliamentary scrutiny of the UK’s exit from the European Union. Select Committees like ours will play a fundamental role in assessing the Government’s plans, and making cross-party recommendations based on evidence  from a wide range of stakeholders. I hope this inquiry will help ensure that the critical issue of equalities protection is not forgotten as we navigate our future outside the EU."

Call for written evidence

The Women and Equalities Committee invites written evidence that focuses on one or more of the issues below. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 9 November. 

A) Legislation

  • What aspects of equalities legislation could be affected when the UK leaves the EU? This could include implications for the Equality Act 2010 as well as other regulations and legislation that have an impact on those with protected characteristics (Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race, Religion and belief, Sex, and Sexual orientation). 

B) Courts, case law and appeals

  • Which institutions, organisations and processes are best placed to ensure that the UK maintains and develops its legislation and policies designed to support those with protected characteristics? 
  • What impact will the European Court of Justice's decisions have in the UK post-Brexit? 
  • What is the ongoing role of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights in enforcing UK equality law/legal decision making processes? 
  • Will there be a legal gap post-Brexit that would disadvantage UK citizens who want to appeal decisions taken by the UK courts?  

C) Embedding equality principles

  • Is it necessary to further embed equalities legislation into the UK law on leaving the EU? 
  • What role will the European Convention on Human Rights play? 
  • How do other countries ensure strong protection for equalities legislation and rights?
  • What is the role of the EHRC? 
  • What role could the Office for Disability Issues and the Government Equalities Office play in promoting and strengthening equalities post Brexit?
  • What policy and/or legislative changes should be made to ensure that the UK is well placed to support strong equalities legislation and processes outside the EU?

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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