Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that plans by Conservatives to rip the Human Rights Act out of the Scottish Parliament would pose a significant threat to the devolution settlement in Scotland, risk the rights of people in Scotland, and wreck any chance of Scottish Tories being able to claim they are ‘non-toxic’.
Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, made the claim as he challenged the Scottish Conservatives to join forces with him to resist the threat from the Conservative Justice Secretary in Westminster.
Commenting, Mr Rennie said:
“Putting human rights at the heart of the Scottish Parliament was endorsed by the people of Scotland in the 1997 Referendum. Any attempt by the Tories to rip human rights out of the Scotland Act would betray the votes of people in that referendum.
“The bold, new vision set out in the 1997 Scottish Parliament White Paper included a requirement for the Scottish Parliament to be compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights. That is something that all mainstream parties should support.
“The warning from the chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commissioner Professor Alan Miller today that the Conservative proposal would set a dangerous precedent that could let off the hook other countries with poor human rights record such as Russia and Turkey should sound the alarm.
“The Tories in Scotland are seeking to repackage themselves as a non-toxic, mainstream, centre ground party. They now face an urgent challenge to prove that by putting a block on their Conservative leaders in Westminster ripping human rights out of the Scottish Parliament. They may only have one MP in Scotland but they could work with us and others in the Scottish Parliament to prevent this.”