A Labour MP has said Winston Churchill would be ‘turning in his grave’ over a minister’s latest statement on Brexit.
Labour’s Geraint Davies asked Tory ministers if the UK will remain in the European Convention on Human Rights beyond the Brexit transition period.
He asked solicitor general Michael Ellis for assurances on the government’s stance – but was met with an evasive answer.
Ellis said the UK will remain committed to human rights despite Brexit, but refused to be drawn on the specifics of the European Convention.
He added: “The UK is committed to human rights, the fact is EU exit doesn’t change that.
“The UK will continue to champion human rights at home and abroad and it’s part of who we are as a people.
“We’ve practised human rights before the (Human Rights) 1998 Act. We’ll continue to do so.
“And we’re committed to upholding the rule of law.
“The United Kingdom is a beacon in this area around the world, leaving the European Union doesn’t change that.”
The Labour MP could then be heard saying: “Churchill will be turning in his grave.”
The 1998 Human Rights Act enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights, which was initially spearheaded by Churchill and came into force in Britain in 1953.
Naomi Smith from the Best for Britain group criticised the statement. She said that the ECHR brings value to the UK.
“The European Convention of Human Rights is a beacon of human decency in Britain and around the world.
“We need enduring agreements like the Convention on Human Rights in order to ensure that our human rights are protected in the long-term.
“The government needs to take another look at the value brought to the UK by the ECHR.”