According to an Irish Times report, the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has been told of overwhelming and increasing support – 83% “believe it is important” – for a NI Bill of Rights that includes “social and economic rights, such as the right to work, health, an adequate standard of living and accommodation”. The source of this information?
A survey commissioned by the NI Human Rights Commission. There’s little other detail of the actual survey itself, I hope it’s not the online one at their website.. [Update I should have said a survey “commissioned by the Human Rights Consortium”. Thanks fd. Details here.] The Commission has already advised the NI Secretary of State and, as Brian said, that Bill’s “lost in the long grass”. The likely next government regards such proposals as “not good for democracy”. Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph reports on Lady Trimble’s evidence to the same committee.
Lady Trimble told the committee she would urge any Bill of Rights to be “tightly drawn” as the 80 proposals currently being considered could be divisive. The commission, led by Monica McWilliams, handed over its report to the Government last November despite Lady Trimble and DUP councillor Jonathan Bell refusing to sign up to it.
Lady Trimble said: “I and my fellow dissenter asked for permission for a minority report and that consent was refused. “I felt it was import to stay within the commission. The Bill of Rights is not the only work in the commission, there was a lot of good work I felt I could make a contribution to.”