Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Mariya Parodi,

Press Release

Deal or No Deal, Brexit Poses "Serious Human Rights Concerns"


The on-going uncertainty around Brexit poses serious human rights issues, Amnesty International said today.

While Amnesty does not take a position on the Referendum result or whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, the human rights organization has pinpointed serious human rights issues.

These include a potential shortage of access to food and medicine, as well as concerns over the future of EU citizens in the UK, the right to immigration and asylum, and the future of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK Director, said:

“The reassurances from the Government to date have simply not been good enough. Deal or no deal, Brexit poses serious human rights concerns to UK residents.

“The Government and politicians of all parties must do everything they can to ensure that the human rights of those living in the UK are protected and respected, not degraded or undermined.

“We’re calling on the leaders of all parties to make a statement to this effect, making clear what they’ll do to ensure our concerns are met.”

Amnesty has outlined five areas the UK Government must ensure happen as they approach the deadline for leaving the EU:

Northern Ireland – As a co-signatory to the Good Friday Agreement, the Westminster Government must ensure that it fully safeguards the vital human rights protections which it helps guarantee. This must include protection of the equal rights of all citizens, whether they identify as Irish or British. It is imperative that there are no restrictions on the freedom of movement to and from Northern Ireland so as to enable people to fully exercise their rights to education, healthcare, work and family life.

EU citizens in the UK – The Government must act to ensure that the rights of EU citizens and their family members in the UK are protected and respected, and take steps to secure the same for one-million plus UK citizens currently living in the EU. In doing so, the Government must ensure that children of EU citizens are not deprived of their rights by being treated as subject to immigration powers (under the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme) in circumstances where those children are, or have rights to register as, British citizens.

Access to food – It is vital that as the UK leaves the EU, the Government does all it can to ensure that food supplies aren’t disrupted and that everybody has access to adequate and affordable levels of food regardless of their circumstances. We are already witnessing an increasing reliance on food banks in the UK, and all efforts must be made to provide food security to all, including those in an already vulnerable situation.

Access to medicine – There must be no disruption to supplies of medicines which are crucial to ensuring that everybody enjoys their right to health. The Government must therefore take all necessary measures to overcome any obstacles to guarantee access to good quality and affordable medicine, and in a timely fashion.

Immigration and asylum system – As the Government seeks to revise the immigration system in the wake of ending EU free movement, it must ensure that any reforms promote and respect the rights to asylum, family and private life and the best interests of children whilst protecting people against wrongful and excessive use of immigration powers by the state and exploitation by third parties.

This statement is available at:


Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·

Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·

'A Toxic Presence in the Party': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

"India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that."

Brett Wilkins ·

New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo