Post-Brexit Britain must include equal rights for minorities
Demand: The negotiations to exit Europe must be race equality audited to protect BME communities against discrimination and promote race equality.
Post-Brexit Britain will need to re-affirm its commitment to an open, inclusive society, including by tackling racial inequalities for the 8 million Black and minority ethnic people who live here. Being ‘open for business’ will require us to be open to people and ideas, and to remove barriers preventing people from achieving their potential.
Demand: Public Sector Equality Duty should be strengthened, to require government not merely to measure how their policies increase inequalities, but also propose mitigating measures to ensure all citizens are in fact treated equally.
People are kept apart by economic divisions and by racial discrimination. In order to promote integration we must first tackle inequality and racism, so that people can engage in British society as equals. Unfortunately UK government policies have increased inequalities. For example, recent budgets have affected BME families hardest, with the poorest Black, Asian and Caribbean women up to £2,000 a year worse off. The Equalities Act should be strengthened, and there should be a review to investigate reinvesting a small proportion of money from dormant bank accounts into poor communities.
Human Rights and Prevent
Demand: The Government should establish an independent review of the operation, impact and outcomes of the Prevent duty, with particular reference to possible conflict with equality and human rights legislation
A post-Brexit Britain needs to be underpinned by strong human rights - rights that support individuals from racism. In addition to supporting existing human rights legislation and protections, the next government must ensure that Prevent and its wider counter-terrorism legislation is not directly or indirectly racially discriminatory.
Demand: Introduce a specific offence of online hate and work more proactively with social media companies to limit incitement to racial and religious hatred.
The spike in hate crime after the EU referendum campaign showed that some people felt a licence to express xenophobic and racial hatred. The ‘normal’ level of hate crime before Brexit was already unacceptable, and almost half of all hate crimes are not even reported to the police. Today casual racism is being normalised in social media and we need to see greater leadership from politicians to tackle it.
Immigration and Asylum
Demand: There must be no discrimination between EU and non-EU migrants.
Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policy must not lead to discrimination on grounds of race. We should immediately guarantee the rights of European citizens now living here, but after we leave the European Union, our immigration policy should not discriminate between EU and non-EU migrants. Recent immigration laws have attempted to turn doctors, nurses, teachers, and landlords into border agents and have increased vulnerability and division. Politicians must show leadership by affirming immigration’s positive social and economic effects.
Our place in the world
Demand: The history of immigration to Britain is made a statutory part of the national curriculum
The younger generation require greater factual knowledge and understanding of their place in Britain and the world and the reasons for immigration. These islands have experienced many waves of immigrants since the first century. Many of Britain’s BME communities originally came here as a result of Britain’s former dominion in other countries. Much of the historic wealth of Britain that drove the mercantile expansion and industrial revolution came from the enslavement of African people and the colonisation of a fifth of the world’s people. As we see in Germany, understanding this past will make us more committed to the values of liberty, equality and openness in post-Brexit Britain.