Category Archives: EU Integration

Tories plan to scrap the Human Rights Act

The Conservatives plan to scrap the Human rights Act

After World War Two the European Convention of Human Rights was created to prohibit any breach of our basic human rights. This was a convention signed by European countries, so in order for it to be enforced you had to take the long road to Strasbourg for a decision to be made. The Human Rights Act was passed in 1998 so the UK could clarify and safeguard the rights of its people through bringing the ECHR on UK statute. Examples of these rights include the right to life and the right to a fair trial.

Theresa May vowed to scrap the Human Rights Act back in September should the Tories win the next general election. The Home Secretary also spoke of a new Immigration Bill that would allow an easier deportation if there was no risk of serious harm to the deportee. It is understood that this is a reaction to the extensive effort to deport hate preacher Abu Qatada. Considering the consequences, Theresa May confirmed the Conservative Party are also prepared to leave the European Convention of Human Rights if necessary. In 2011, David Cameron suggested the repeal of the Human Rights Act. Cameron proposed the UK should have its own British Bill of Rights similar to the United States that would result in an entrenched law in our seemingly uncodified constitution, however it seems those plans are now on the back burner. The Conservatives were never particularly in favour of the Act and it is probably the Liberal Democrats that have been their major obstacle in trying to remove it.

The Labour Party has completely supported the Human Rights Act since its inception in 1998. Labour MP Sadiq Khan has been very open in defending The Human Rights Act as well as criticising the “myths” (as he describes) surrounding it. The Liberal Democrats share the same view to Labour.  In March 2007, Lord Lester (Lib Dem peer) was quoted in the House of Lords that the act has “strong Lib Dem support”. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also defended The Human Rights Act claiming it protects the vulnerable.

Should Labour or the Lib Dems (highly unlikely) gain a majority in 2015 then we can expect little or no change to the Human Rights Act. However, if the Conservatives win with a majority we could see a drastic change in the way our rights are defined in this country.

 

Harry Camci

News from the week

Headlines from this week
EU
-Cameron enacted collective responsibility on proposed EU referendum meaning all ministers would be required to campaign to stay in the EU during the referendum – problem people – Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson
-Cameron’s speech has provoked Austrian’s far right to call for an EU referendum
-Brussles has demanded that Britain pay a fine of nearly 300,000 euros a day for failing to liberalise its energy sector. The Commission sought permission from ECJ to impose fines on UK, Bulgaria and Estonia
-Spain jobless rate exceeds one in four as plans are laid out for more austerity, as the Spaniards have been asked to make 30bn euros worth of savings
-Tobin tax (a financial transaction tax) is introduced in 11 eurozone countries
-MEPs in the agriculture committee voten to weaken environmental proposals made by the Commission while agreeing to reduce subsidies to big farms – all proposals will be finally voted on in March: for the first time, the EP has legislative powers over policies that will govern agriculture
UK Policy
Economy
-Cameron uses G8 presidency to clamp down on ‘cowboy’ multinational firms’
-Olivier Blanchard IMF chief economist suggested a change in fiscal course, supporting calls for a plan B
-Clegg admitted the coalition made a mistake when it cut capital spending soon after it’s formation in 2010 – called for a plan for job creation
-UK economy contracted 0.3%
Law and Order
-ONS says fall in crime may be exaggerated as officers are urged not to record low-level offences. Latest figures show crime is down 7% in a year but 400,000 crimes over the past 5yrs have not been reported and instead filed as anti-social behavior but the general crime trend is still downwards
Welfare; Health, Education and Welfare
-Fewer than one in six state school pupils qualify for the English Baccalaureate
-195 schools on government ‘hit list’ for poor GCSE results where less than 40% of students obtained 5 A*-C grades – this includes around 60 academies which leaves Gove with a dilemma as LEAs cannot intervene
-Gove’s A Level changes – to make AS level a separated qualification and give uni’s a bigger say in course content
-Coalition are expected to pledge £1.5bn to childcare through a voucher scheme for families with young children, this equates roughly £1,000 a year and is meant to also encourage mothers back to work
-Head of NHS Commissioning Board Sir David Nicholson in an interview with the Independent said that the treatement of elderly patients was a ‘national scandal’ coinciding with the Stafford Hospital seeings between 400-1,200 more patient deaths than expected – His role is one introduced by Lansley and in April this independent Board will take over reponsibility for NHS planning and delivery

Beware Greeks bearing Euros

Greece is in turmoil. Well, it has been for the last year.

But what’s that got to do with your exam? Firstly, there is a huge question as to whether they can survive in the Eurozone anymore.  This is key to the survival of the confidence in the Euro. The fear is that rating agencies will turn to other flagging states, like Portugal and they will follow Greece to the exit door of the Eurozone. If Greece accepts the bail out conditions  they will be subjected to the will of the Trioka, (IMF,ECB and E.U.)in running their economy. This raises questions of sovereignty and the autonomy of the Greek government, which is a hugely contentious issue. Pooled sovereignty is looking more like controlled sovereignty by EU institutions, where Germany is hugely influential.  Continue reading