Experts Warn Losing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will Give Corporations Influence over Public Health

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Peter Roderick, a lawyer, and Allyson Pollock, a public health professor, are warning that UK citizens risk losing their “fundamental right to health” if the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is abandoned as a result of the country leaving the European Union.

In an Editorial for the British Medical Journal, the pair forewarn that corporations which produce tobacco and alcohol products could find it easier to triumph in court cases should the charter be made irrelevant to UK law.

This means that once the Brexit process is over, industry could hold more power over laws relating to “pesticide residues in food, health and safety at work, management and disposal of hazardous substances, regulation of medicinal products, and air and water quality.”

The Government’s White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill (which can be read here) says the charter, which outlines the rights and freedoms of EU citizens, will not be converted into UK law. It states: “The removal of the charter from UK law will not affect the substantive rights that individuals already benefit from in the UK.” However Roderick and Pollock said judges who have used the EU rights to decide on public health cases might no longer be able to do so after the United Kingdom has Brexited.

A law professor at the University of Sheffield, Tamara Hervey, has stated that “Brexit – if it is the kind of “cutting ‘red tape’ Brexit” that PM Theresa May has suggested – could indeed give powerful companies more leverage against consumers, patients and citizens”.

The British Government has said the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will automatically not apply in the United Kingdom after Brexit has been completed. Furthermore, they have also claimed that the same rights within the charter are also covered by international agreements that will not be changed due to the withdrawal process, such as the European Convention on Human Rights.

Click the following link to read a more detailed version of this story:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/brexit-latest-news-repeal-law-public-health-threat-warning-fundamental-right-eu-charter-uk-law-white-a7714081.html

And to read Peter Roderick and Allyson Pollock’s Editorial, click below:

http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2013

 

Image source: zakonodavstvo.gov.hr

Text source: www.independent.co.uk – 3rd May 2017

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