Last week, on the final day of the Conservative Party’s four day conference David Cameron announced his plans to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British bill of rights if the Conservatives are re-elected in the 2015 general elections. Mr Cameron did not specify whether the party would withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights. During the same conference the Prime Minister also announced plans to restrict the EU’s free movement.
Amnesty International: Human Rights Act has done so much good
To the surprise of a lot of people Mr Cameron has vowed to scrap the Human Rights Act and limit the number of European migrants allowed to live and work in the UK. During the 4 day Conservative party conference which took place in Birmingham Mr Cameron announced the Conservative’s plans to restore sovereignty to Westminster. According to the 8 page document setting out the plans the present position under the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act ‘is not acceptable’.
The fundamental changes put forward by Conservatives with the intention to ‘restore common sense and put Britain first’ are:
- The European Court of Human Rights is no longer binding over the UK Supreme court;
- The European Court of Human Rights is no longer able to order a change in UK law and becomes an advisory body only;
- There is a balance between rights and responsibilities in UK law;
- There is no formal requirement for our courts to treat the Strasbourg Court as creating legal precedent for the UK; and
- In all matter related to our international commitments, Parliament is Sovereign.
The Conservative’s plans have drawn a lot of criticism. Kate Allen, head of Amnesty International has expressed:
“It’s disappointing to hear the PM vowing to scrap the Human Rights Act when it has done so much good. We should be defending it.”
Tim Hancock campaigns director at Amnesty UK added:
“It’s exasperating to hear the Prime Minister vow to tear up the Human Rights Act again – so he can draft ‘his own. Human rights are not in the gift of politicians to give and must not be made a political plaything to be bestowed or scrapped on a whim.”
David Cameron: EU not Working Properly for us at the Moment
During the same conference the Prime Minister promised to limit immigration from Europe. Mr Cameron expressed that he would not be disappointed if Britain left the EU. He went onto say that he will go to Brussels to negotiate a change in the rules for new members joining the union:
“We will be wanting to make certain at a European as well as a national level that the right of people to work or retire around Europe does not become a right to travel around in order to collect social security benefits or commit crime.”
“What is best for our UK. How do we get the best deal for Britain. That is what I feel strongly about. If I didn’t think it was in Britain’s interests to be in the EU, I would not argue for it. Let’s be frank. It is not working properly for us at the moment.”
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