Over 50 of the UK's top lawyers have signed 89up's letter, calling for human rights protections to be included in any new UK-EU trade deal.
Update: The Guardian (21 February 2017), "Top lawyers warn of human rights crisis after Brexit"
Theresa May has repeatedly stated her feelings that Britain would be better served by leaving the European Convention on Human Rights than it would leaving the EU.
As we enter Brexit negotiations, there is now every possibility that both these scenarios could easily come to pass.
The ECHR has been the bedrock of peace in Europe since World War II, and was instrumental in the remarkable growth of democracy in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is no coincidence that the one state that is not part of the Convention, Belarus, is known as “Europe’s last dictatorship”.
The withdrawal of Britain from the EU and the ECHR in succession could trigger a domino effect, emboldening populist leaders in countries such as Hungary and Poland to abandon domestic and international commitments to human rights.
We face the very real threat of a human rights crisis with the U.K. trading away protections against torture for trade deals with foreign tyrants. We are calling for the EU to make Britain's membership of the ECHR a legally binding requirement for any future free trade deal with the U.K. The rule of law and human rights are non-negotiable when new countries join the EU. They should be non-negotiable when countries leave and desire a free trade deal.
As Parliament scrutinises the Withdrawal from the EU Bill and further legislation on Brexit, MPs, peers, and the EU itself, must make sure that Britain’s membership of the ECHR is a requirement of any future trade deal with the EU.
Sashy Nathan, Director of Advocacy/General Counsel, 89up
Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws QC
Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC
Prof. Francesca Klug OBE
Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC
Sir Paul Jenkins KCB QC
Alex Bailin QC, Matrix Chambers
Alex Grigg, Garden Court Chambers
Ali Naseem Bajwa QC, Garden Court Chambers
Alistair Polson, Garden Court Chambers
Amos Waldman, Doughty Street Chambers
Anya Lewis, Garden Court Chambers
Ben Cooper, Doughty Street Chambers
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Doughty Street Chambers
Celia Graves, Garden Court Chambers
David Jones, Garden Court Chambers
Dr Leslie Thomas QC, Garden Court Chambers
Grainne Mellon, Garden Court Chambers
Greg Ó Ceallaigh, Garden Court Chambers
Harriet Johnson, Doughty Street Chambers
Helen Foot, Garden Court Chambers
Hugh Southey QC, Matrix Chambers
James Wood QC, Doughty Street Chambers
Jelia Sane, Doughty Street Chambers
John Halford, Bindmans LLP
Jules Carey, Bindmans LLP
Keir Monteith, Garden Court Chambers
Laura Dubinsky, Doughty Street Chambers
Liam Walker, Doughty Street Chambers
Louise Hooper, Garden Court Chambers
Malcolm Hawkes, Doughty Street Chambers
Mark Stephens CBE, Howard Kennedy
Merry Varney, Leigh Day
Navita Atreya, Garden Court Chambers
Nerida Harford-Bell, Garden Court Chambers
Paramjit Ahluwalia, Garden Court Chambers
Patrick O'Connor QC, Doughty Street Chambers
Phil Haywood, Doughty Street Chambers
Prof. Fergal Davis, Kings College London
Professor Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, University of London
Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex
Ravi Naik, ITN solicitors
Rebecca Trowler QC, Doughty Street Chambers
Rupert Myers, EA Law
Sadat Sayeed, Garden Court Chambers
Sally Ireland, Garden Court Chambers
Sarah Forster, Garden Court Chambers
Sean Horstead, Garden Court Chambers
Stephen Lue, Garden Court Chambers
Steven Flynn, Garden Court Chambers
Terry Munyard, Garden Court Chambers
Tom Stoate, Garden Court Chambers
Tom Wainwright, Garden Court Chambers
Tublu K. Mukherjee, Doughty Street Chambers
Wayne Jordash QC, Doughty Street Chambers
Zimran Samuel, Doughty Street Chambers
You can donate to the crowdfundraiser here: https://www.gofundme.com/dont-let-brexit-destroy-your-right