March 10, 2013

British Tories float the notion of leaving the European Convention on Human Rights

Filed under: Britain, Europe, Government, Law — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:45

It’s not a declared aim — yet — but when a senior government minister even mentions this as an option, you have to assume it’s being discussed:

The Conservatives would consider leaving the European Convention on Human Rights if they won the 2015 election, the home secretary has said.

Theresa May told an event organised by the ConservativeHome site the party would also scrap the Human Rights Act.

She said it restricted the UK’s ability “to act in the national interest”.

A private poll by ex-party treasurer Lord Ashcroft, meanwhile, suggested the party would lose 93 marginal seats to Labour if the election was held now.

The BBC understands Mrs May was putting forward ideas for the next Conservative manifesto, and such a move was not current government policy.

[. . .]

Mrs May told the gathering she was sceptical whether the convention limited human rights abuses in other countries and suggested it restricted Britain’s ability to act in its own interests.

“When Strasbourg constantly moves the goalposts and prevents the deportation of dangerous men like Abu Qatada, we have to ask ourselves, to what end are we signatories to the convention?” she said.

“Are we really limiting human rights abuses in other countries? I’m sceptical.”

She said that “by 2015, we’ll need a plan for dealing with the European Court of Human Rights”.

“And yes, I want to be clear that all options — including leaving the convention altogether — should be on the table.”

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