The Prime Minister must make sure that his apparent preference for a hard Brexit does not make us so desperate for international trade deals that it either prevents us speaking out in defence of human rights or forces us to allow foreign powers to determine when and if we speak out. Up till now, all our foreign trade has been subject to human rights provisions. That's because the trade deals we have been trading under were negotiated by the European Union on behalf of all its members, including the UK – and the EU has such massive economic power that it was therefore able to insist on proper human rights clauses being inserted in all trade deals. Now that Britain has left the EU, the UK is sadly not currently insisting on any comparable human rights clauses being included in our (currently under negotiation) new international trade deals. That will tragically very substantially weaken the U.K.'s ability to protect human rights around our world. What's more, Brexit is helping to weaken Britain's influence on human rights issues in other ways too – partly because we will no longer be able to influence European Union human rights diplomacy. Up till now, the UK has had a double human-rights-related global influence – directly through British diplomacy and indirectly through our influence on EU human rights diplomacy. That latter very important avenue of influence will now cease – and the Prime Minister, must take action to ensure that the Foreign Office receives additional human-rights-diplomacy-earmarked funding to enable it to exert influence on those issues it used to promote via our participatory influence in EU human rights diplomacy. Unless the Prime Minister takes rapid action, global diplomatic efforts to increase rights to health, education, housing and food are likely to be undermined, according to research by Newcastle University. What's more, he must urgently take steps to ensure that EU nationals with settled status here in the UK have exactly the same civil rights as those currently enjoyed by UK nationals in Britain.

Sadly, virtually no assurances have been given by Johnson or his colleagues on human rights issues. Indeed, during the referendum campaign, the potentially substantial impact of Brexit on international human rights was hardly mentioned at all.

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