The UK Government has been accused of dismissing the interests of Britain’s disabled people in a delayed no-deal Brexit plan that could severely threaten the rights of vulnerable people in Britain.
Plans to limit the potential impact of a no-deal scenario were published by the UK Government earlier this week, including the possible impact on trade and fisheries, but reportedly said nothing about how it may impact on the rights and freedoms of disabled people.
Safeguarding financial services, farming, and the protection of human rights were all included in the official advice, but the possible consequences for social care, accessibility, and other disability related issues did not feature among the most pressing matters faced by the UK Government.
Inclusion Scotland has said the Government’s apparent unpreparedness for how a no-deal Brexit could impact on people with disabilities will not alleviate the fears and anxieties many disabled people are currently experiencing.
Inclusion Scotland policy officer Susie Fitton said: “A no-deal Brexit would impact on a wide range of rights, current legal protections and social support systems for disabled people in Scotland that affect their everyday lives – human rights, discrimination, healthcare and access to medicines, social care and social security, and access to funding for their organisations.
“That these issues are not being addressed by these technical notices is just the latest example of how our rights and concerns have been ommitted from the UK Government’s prepartions and planning for Brexit.
“If the intention of these technical notices is to reassure people across the UK, where is the reassurance for disabled people that their rights, services and support systems will be protected if we leave the EU without a deal?
“We need concrete commitments from both the UK and Scottish Governments that they will work to ensure that health and social care will not face an unprecedented staffing crisis as we leave the EU, that the rights we have as disabled people which originate from EU law, keep up with future progressive changes made by the EU.
“And that they are not diminished, ‘frozen in time’ or indeed withdrawn altogether and that the opportunity will be taken by both governments to enhance disabled people’s rights and the systems that support these rights post-Brexit.
“In short in the clamour of voices over Brexit we need disabled people’s voices to be heard.”