This Bizarre European Court

Prime Minister David Cameron has made much of his opposition to the European Convention on Human Rights and the increasingly bizarre decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.  Most recently Mr Cameron has said that certain of its decisions made him “physically ill to contemplate”.

The whole issue of Britain’s membership of the Convention would seem to be in question in Mr Cameron’s mind.  He gives the impression that he wants to do something to rectify the situation: perhaps withdraw from the Convention, or repeal the Human Rights Act?  That remains to be seen, but there is something concrete, simple and immediate that he can do to alleviate the situation.

The European Union intends to accede to the European Convention of Human Rights now that it is a legal entity (a de facto political state) in its own right.  Article 6 (2) of the Lisbon Treat states, “the Union shall accede to the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”.  Article 218 (8) of the Lisbon Treaty states, “the Council shall act unanimously for the agreement of the accession to the Convention.”  The key word is “unanimous”.

The legal documentation necessary for the EU to accede to the Convention is being drawn up and should be completed by the end of June.  It will then be submitted to the European Council (heads of EU member state governments) for a vote.

If it is adopted then Britain will be further bound and in thrall to the Convention by our membership of the EU.  Mr Cameron can prevent this by the simple expedient of ensuring that the UK votes “No”, so that under the unanimity rule it could not then be adopted.

When the matter comes before the Council after June, Mr Cameron can put his money where his mouth is, and perhaps move up from politician to statesman.  Will he do it?

I wrote to him on 7th March laying out the situation.  The Daily Express printed the story on 8th March.  I suggest that as many people as possible write to Mr Cameron asking him to ensure that the UK Government votes “No”.  We can then see how sincere he is and whether he has any real will to protect our country from the EU and the ECHR.

 Gerard Batten is UKIP MEP for London.  This article first appeared in eurofacts on 15th April 2011.

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