Children must be kept safe in no-deal Brexit Britain, UK Commissioners say

19 February 2019

A joint letter issued today by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland with the Children’s Commissioners for Wales, England and Northern Ireland, has been sent to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union calling for an urgent response on significant issues affecting the safety of children in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

A response has been requested by 4 March 2019.

The Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland, Bruce Adamson, expressed serious concerns about issues concerning children which have not received consideration through the Brexit process, and has called on the UK Government to assure the UK’s Children’s Commissioners that it is contingency planning for the vital protection of children in preparing for Brexit.

Bruce Adamson comments:

“The other UK Children’s Commissioners and I remain extremely concerned at the lack of attention given to the rights of children in Brexit. In particular, a no-deal Brexit will seriously impact child safety and we are calling on the UK Government to ensure proper protection for our children is in place by 1 April 2019.“
“We have asked the UK Government for guarantees on three crucial child rights issues: the European Arrest Warrant and protection of children who are abducted and taken abroad or trafficked through different countries; the civil law procedures and child protection agreements between EU states where parents and children live in different countries; and the system for sharing criminal record checks for EU nationals working with children in the UK.
“Our joint letter requires an urgent response from the Secretary of State, Stephen Barclay, if we are to ensure vital continued and adequate protection of the UK’s children.
“Throughout the Brexit process the UK Government has failed to listen to children and young people, or to pay due attention to their rights. I am pleased that in Scotland there has been Children and Young People's Panel on Europe and having met the Panel I have seen first-hand their vital and considered contribution to the debate.”