Plans for British bill of rights delayed until after Brexit, Liz Truss reveals

Written by Daniel Bond on 24 February 2017 in News

The Conservatives have committed to replacing the Human Rights Act a bill of rights for the UK

Liz Truss MP - Image credit: Ben Birchall PA Wire/PA Images

Plans for a British bill of rights have been delayed until after the UK leaves the European Union, Liz Truss has revealed.

The UK Government's justice secretary said the planned legislation, which has been a commitment in the last two Tory election manifestos, was "not something we can do at the same time" as trying to introduce the Great Repeal Bill.

Her comments, made in an interview with The House magazine, will be disappointing for many Conservative backbenchers.

David Cameron first pledged to replace the Human Rights Act – which was introduced in 2000 by the last Labour government – with a bill of rights in 2010.

It failed to progress under the Tory/Lib Dem coalition, but was included again in the Conservatives' 2015 manifesto.

Former justice secretary Michael Gove announced a further delay in December that year, dashing Tory hopes that it would be on the statute book quickly.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright then dropped a huge hint before Christmas that it was being delayed again because ministers had "a few other things on their plate".

In her interview, Truss confirmed for the first time that the bill of rights has been delayed by the UK Government again.

She said: "Given that we are leaving the European Union and we will have the Great Repeal Bill going through parliament, clearly that is going to signify a major constitutional change.  

"So the British Bill of Rights, whilst it remains a commitment, is not something we can do at the same time as we are putting through that Great Repeal Bill.

"That is going to affect the constitution. It’s important we only do one constitutional reform at a time."

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