Nicole Garcia Merida visits Parliament to find out more about the LGBT Brexit Impact Assessment

BY NICOLE GARCIA MERIDA

Launched in Parliament at the beginning of March 2019 by Gay Star News and LGBT+ For A People’s Vote, the LGBT+ Brexit Impact Assessment explores how Brexit might impact LGBTQI communities here in the UK.

I mean, just in case we weren’t busy enough living life as queer women in a cishet world, we now have to think about Brexit (not that we weren’t already) and the way it’s going to impact the LGBTQI community specifically. 

The main issue is the loss of the European Charter Of Fundamental Rights, which is the only legally binding international human rights document that protects LGBT+ people. 

Joanna Cherry, a Scottish National Parliament (SNP) MP, said: “I came out in 2015 during my elections. One of the reason I think a People’s Vote is so important is because we have not considered properly what it will mean for LGBT+ people, for women and indeed any minority group.

“I don’t want the UK to be a place on the map where LGBT+ people are not welcome. When I stand up and speak about LGBT+ rights, we have to make sure we remember the T in LGBT+.

“It terrifies me that we will not be party to the Charter For Fundamental Rights once we leave. I think that’s why this report is so important, and this is such an important moment.”

Two things seemed blatantly obvious in the report discussed in Parliament at the event: members of the LGBT+ community overwhelmingly voted to remain, and the UK leaving the EU does not paint a pretty picture for the future of the LGBT+ community in the UK. 

Lord Michael Cashman, who was part of the panel, said: “We are in the position we are in because of an absence of leadership across the two major parties.

“The argument that we are somehow delivering on democracy by going for Brexit makes no sense to me whatsoever. How we deliver on democracy is by holding the British public accountable for what they have asked Parliament to do.” 

EastEnders actor turned politician, Lord Michael Cashman is co-founder of Stonewall and has been instrumental in the fight for LGBT+ rights in the UK. 

He added: “I have never felt so disconnected from this country, not since the early 1960s when I realised that actually I did not belong as a gay man and I had no protections. 

“The kind of rhethoric and the shrill debate of rising islamophobia, antisemitism, misogyny, and anti-LGBT+ terrifies me.

“It’s been given a voice by the process of Brexit, the right-wing media and our commentators who fail to hold to account these people in their talk shows putting forward myth as fact.” 

The March For A People’s Vote On Brexit will take place on Saturday 23 March 2019. Find out more here

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