The government of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is intending to abandon significant parts of the European Convention on Human Rights included in the country’s Human Rights Act of 1998, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.
According to the report, British government officials are working on proposals to limit the operation of EU human rights legislation in areas where judges have “overreached” with its application. The measures are reportedly being considered in order to prevent illegal migrants and refugees from using the legislation to avoid deportation from the UK.
At the same time, the opt-outs were said to be aimed at protecting British military personnel against allegations and prosecution over their activities overseas.
Amending the HRA or stopping it from affecting newer human rights laws, such as the in-progress Overseas Operations Bill, is one of the options being considered by Downing Street.
The newspaper noted that the government's plans might lead to new conflict with the EU, since Brussels requires London to adhere and keep in place the rights contained in the ECHR in order to ensure legal cooperation after the UK's exit from the bloc.
The report comes as EU officials are accusing London of violating international law by attempting to reassess the Withdrawal Agreement.
The UK left the EU on 1 February after three years of negotiations on the terms of the exit. Brussels and London have agreed on a transitional period until the end of this year, during which all European regulations continue to apply in the United Kingdom. By the end of the transitional period, which the British side refused to extend, the UK and EU must agree on a deal that would regulate their future relations.
If the agreement, which will stipulate new rules of trade, fails to be concluded, the parties will begin to trade according to WTO rules, with the application of all trade duties and tariffs.
On Wednesday, the UK government introduced a bill on internal markets, designed to regulate trade relations between the constituent parts of the kingdom by the end of the transition period. The document says that some of its provisions “will remain in force, despite the inconsistency or incompatibility with international or national law”. This includes one of the main points of the Brexit deal - the consolidation of the status of Northern Ireland as an entity that is part of the kingdom's customs space, but at the same time retaining access to the single market and the EU customs zone.