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Brexit 'could put human rights at risk', new report warns

Brexit could have an adverse impact on human rights in the north, a new report has warned. Picture by Daniel Leal-Olivas, Press Association

BREXIT could put human rights in the north at risk, a new report has warned.

The document by the Human Rights Consortium said membership of the European Union has given people many protections they would not otherwise have enjoyed.

And it added there is a clear link between the peace process and EU membership.

The report, funded by the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs, pointed out that strand II of the Good Friday Agreement on north-south relationships was built on common EU law frameworks.

The consortium raised several areas of concern including the impact of Brexit on EU funding.

Director of the consortium, Kevin Hanratty, said being part of the union was "the assumed context and backdrop for a peace agreement 20 years ago".

"It also provided an important legislative scaffold that allowed the institutions of governance of the new peace agreement to function effectively and act in accordance with a range of important human rights standards," he said.

"Following the referendum result it was clear that this existing tapestry of rights may be at risk due to the significant constitutional upheaval that Brexit represents."

Mr Hanratty said the EU "has often helped overcome the local political restrictions of divisions in the Assembly and harmonised rights standards upwards".

He said the group's research found "deep-seated anxiety" across the north about the impact of Brexit.

"Unfortunately it is also clear from our research that while many significant commitments have been made to protect the peace process, the Good Friday Agreement and human rights during the Brexit process there has been little evidence of practical delivery to date on those commitments," he said.

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