Dominic Raab’s views and why we should be worried.

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With the departure of David Davis as Brexit secretary, Theresa May has appointed Dominic Raab to replace him. But what are the views of the man who once worked for one of the Palestinian negotiators of the Oslo Accords?

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Banksy on the EU

Before becoming an MP

Having attended public school and a prestigious University reading law, he went on to work for a private law firm and then for the World Bank in Palestine.

In 2000, he entered the world of politics by joining the foreign office, initially leading a team who investigated war crimes in the Hague. He later went on to advise on The EU, Gibraltar and the Arab/Israeli conflict.

From 2006 until 2010, Raab worked in Parliament as Chief of Staff to Shadow Home Secretary David Davis and to Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve.

In 2009 he wrote his first book: The Assault on Liberty – What Went Wrong With Rights. When reviewed by the guardian it was noted;

He obsesses over the incorporation of the Human Rights Act into British law, claiming it introduces the wrong kind of rights culture.

Even before becoming an MP, Raab seems to be arguing against the Human Rights Act something that while not perfect, enables us essential freedoms and protections. With him as the new Brexit Secretary, will he attempt to scrap it’s integration into UK law? Lets hope not.

Elected as an MP 2010 – 2015

In the 2010 Raab was elected to Parliament to represent the Conservative ‘safe seat’ of Esher and Walton with a 18,593 majority. He was an avid supporter of his parties austerity measures which were meant to, but didn’t, to cut the deficit.

He tried unsuccessfully to get campaign website; 38 degrees to remove his email from their website, because he objected to people being able to send clone emails to MPs. They replied; that as his email address is paid for by the tax payer, it will remain on their site.

In April 2011 Raab described union leaders as “militant union bosses” holding the “hard working majority” to ransom.

He had attempted to introduce a bill forcing transport and emergency service unions to achieve a 50% turnout if they wanted to strike.

In an article on The Political Home website, Raab commented that feminists were: “now amongst the most obnoxious bigots” and it was sexist to blame men for the recession

Raab has frequently voiced his view that unelected judges in Strasbourg lack experience or knowledge. As a former adviser the the FCA on the EU, he should know the Strasbourg judges are elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

In Britannia Unchained, a book written by Raab and some other Tory backbenchers, he described British workers as; “among the worst idlers in the world”.

Raab authored a pamphlet asserting that UK employment legislation represents a “straitjacket” for the economy. And Raab proposed allowing employers to fire at will as well as proposing that the 1998 Working Time regulations be scrapped.

Raab’s report proposed significant reductions to existing workers’ rights, including proposals to:

  • “Introduce no fault dismissal for underperforming employees”.
  • “Exclude start-ups, micro-and small-businesses from the minimum wage for those under 21”.
  • “Abolish the Agency Workers Regulations”.
  • “Abolish the Working Time Regulations”.

He again went after the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) when he proposed an amendment to an Immigration Bill. He and 99 other MPs, wanted to remove ECHR protections of immigrants convicted of crimes. This would have enabled them to be immediately be deported, regardless of the risk of death or torture in their home country.

2015 – Present

Mr Raab was returned to Parliament in the 2015 general election with an increased majority of 28,000. He became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice with the job of dealing with questions on Human Rights. With his track record on opposing the ECHR this can only have been a concerted effort to undermine human rights protections in the UK.

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He campaigned for the official Vote leave group in the EU referendum. Considering they have now been proven to have broken the law, is it wise of Theresa May to appoint him?

During the 2017 Election campaign Dominic Raab he was asked to state the UK’s national debt but was unable to do so live on TV.

On 28th March 2017 Rabb said on BBC TV that; people who use foodbanks merely have “cash-flow problems.”

Yes they do, the government cuts everything it can. The most vulnerable are begging on the street for food because of these “cash-flow problems.”

Mr Raab was named in a dossier containing allegations that 37 Conservative MPs had engaged in sexual harassment and/or inappropriate behaviour. At the time he denied he has ever engaged in such a manner and that he was “seeking legal advice”. To date he has not contested these claims any further…

In February 2018 he advertised for an unpaid intern, this was despite government policy stating that they are unfair and a way to avoid paying the minimum wage. He might as well have advertised for child labour.

Not long after this, Raab made a false claim that; “immigration had caused house prices to rise by 20% over the last 20 years.” When he was challenged on it, it was found he used an unproven model that was out of date and didn’t hold up.

My thoughts?

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We now have a Brexit Secretary who doesn’t like human rights, workers rights, equality laws, unions, immigrants and well to be honest, anyone bar himself.

What hope do we have of a deal with the EU, if our lead negotiator doesn’t care if we go full hard Brexit. It may even be his aim.

The governments white paper, outlining the Chequers agreement which seems was not agreed, is released on Thursday. While I hold out hope that we get some sort of deal that will ensure that our human rights are protected.

I’m not optimistic.

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