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Committee writes to NI Secretary on potential implications for Northern Ireland of leaving the ECHR

24 May 2024

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Chair, Sir Robert Buckland, has outlined concerns it heard from witnesses over the potential implications of the UK leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) for Northern Ireland, in a letter to the Government today.

Writing to the NI Secretary, Chris Heaton-Harris, he said that the Committee noted that “Northern Ireland is overlooked whenever the prospect of ECHR withdrawal is raised”.

Among the points brought out in the letter are:

  • that there would be practical implications for policing given the duty for public bodies to comply with the ECHR;
  • the impact withdrawal would have on cross-border collaboration on criminal investigations; and
  • withdrawal would trigger the review procedure built into and be in breach the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

Leaving the ECHR would have a detrimental impact on Northern Ireland and there is no credible argument for doing so from a Northern Ireland perspective, the Committee heard.

Further information

Image: House of Commons