Our Manifesto for disability rights in a post-EU UK

Sun,25 June 2017

Disability Rights UK has produced a manifesto on what the disability rights sector should be seeking from a post-EU UK.

Read our manifesto

Leaving the EU: Disabled People’s Services debate

Brexit and Human Rights

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Leaving Europe with no deal

Disabled people make up one in five of the UK population and will be affected in specific ways by policy and legislative change flowing from the decision for the UK to leave the EU; yet disability has been barely mentioned in public and policy debate on the implications of Brexit.

This report explores the key priorities of disabled people for a post-Brexit Britain and for the period leading up to leaving the EU; sets out a Manifesto based on discussions with disabled people and allies; and explores ways in which disabled people, our organisations and allies could become more influential in public and policy debate on these issues. The hope is that it will stimulate engagement, enrich debate and support disabled people to influence post-Brexit disability rights.

Main proposals of our manifesto

  1. All EU-based disability rights existing at the time the UK leaves the EU to be maintained, including those in relation to air and ship travel, web accessibility, accessible goods and services, public procurement and manufactured goods
  2. Maintenance of existing disability rights which are incorporated in domestic law at the time of exit, including primary legislation remaining unchanged unless there has been detailed parliamentary scrutiny (i.e. no Henry VIII clauses which would permit change without scrutiny); and secondary legislation to be left in place with no watering down and no inadvertent discarding of, for example, disability equality rules and regulations as ‘red tape’ 
  3. Continued Government commitment to the UK being ahead of the curve on disability rights – fully committing to implementing standards equivalent to the new European Accessibility Act once passed, building human rights clauses into future trade agreements and at least matching future progressive developments in EU disability rights law
  4. At least matching current EU funding in real terms of DPOs and disability rights – this includes matching by the UK government of all EU funding that supports a) disabled people’s voice and participation, including employment support b) independent living c) other UN Convention rights and d) research on issues of importance to disabled people - with particular attention given to parts of the UK where loss of EU funding will damage the DPO sector
  5. A full equality impact assessment by Government of plans for freedom of movement, before those plans are agreed, ensuring no disproportionate impact on a) disabled EU citizens living in the UK b) carers c) disabled British citizens living in other EU countries and d) no detrimental impact on disabled people’s independence through reducing the PA workforce - this must involve detailed parliamentary scrutiny and public consultation on plans for EU citizens in the UK in terms of rules about ‘self-sufficiency’ and requirements for ‘comprehensive health insurance’ 
  6. Continued mutual recognition initiatives useful to disabled people - for instance badges to enable disabled people to park and cards offering other access and benefits 
  7. Giving the UNCRPD heightened status in domestic UK law - increasing the influence and impact of the UNCRPD on tackling discrimination and advancing equality
  8. Continued commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights