On Tuesday 10th November 2014 the UK Parliament passed a Bill incorporating 35 clauses relating to European Law into UK Law. It was a direct consequence of the Lisbon Treaty and a further step towards a European superstate.
The Prime Minister had four times promised a full parliamentary debate and vote on one of these issues, the contentious European Arrest Warrant. It was deliberately not included for discussion in the agenda for the session. Though there was a relatively small but very vocal challenge to this bill, in the event the vote was about 440 approving the motion and about 40 against. The significance here though is that two thirds of present 650 members of Parliament voted for it. Why did they do that?
Well, the Conservatives used the procedural system referred to as the Whip. The Whips contact all MPs of the party and request they vote in accordance with the party line, regardless of the personal opinion of the MP or his or her constituents.
Those that dutifully vote according to party requirements rise steadily up the political ladder. Those that ignore the whip and vote according to conscience or constituency requirement are often ignored from future promotion. So it comes down to whether the MP puts his or her political career and the party ahead of the needs of the constituents or even of the country.
We have repeatedly been told by both Conservative and Labour that they would hold a referendum if ever there is a significant transfer of power to the EU. Unbeknown to the vast majority of UK citizens this was a massive transfer of power over our historical rights.
Our historical rights were re-asserted during the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) at the Assize of Clarendon and included the right of Habeas Corpus. The full phrase is habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, which means you can have the body for the purpose of subjecting him or her to examination. A writ of Habeas Corpus required that the person so detained must be brought before a court or a judge to determine if that person is being legally detained.
This was incorporated into the Magna Carta, signed by King John and the Barons at Runnymede on 15th June 1215. There are two significant clauses amongst the 63 in that charter aimed at the common man and woman.
38. No bailiff on his own simple assertion can act without producing witnesses in evidence.
39. No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed – nor will we go upon or send upon him – save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
The Magna Carta and its successor documents have formed the corner stone of the English common law down to the present day. Judgements made setting new precedents have always been done with a view not to impinge upon the liberties and rights of the common man or woman. This has become the basis of UK Common Law.
The British jurist & constitutional theorist Albert Venn Dicey (1835-1922) understood that the freedom British subjects enjoyed was dependent on the sovereignty of Parliament, the impartiality of the courts free from governmental interference and the supremacy of the common law. He wrote that British Habeas Corpus Acts declare no principle and define no rights, but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred articles guaranteeing individual liberty.’
This is not the way it has been done on the continent where Civil Law takes precedence and a person can be imprisoned without trial or without evidence for very long periods of time.
When the UK was involved in the drafting of the European Human Rights Act it was worded so not to be at odds with European Civil Law.
Likewise the European Arrest Warrant has assumed the practices of many countries whose judicial systems are very poor and assume guilty until proven otherwise. A policeman can now go to a neighbouring country with nothing more than an allegation and serve an arrest warrant and take the person into custody.
They can then be taken across national borders and detained for an unlimited time without legal representation. The detainee now has no right to issue a writ of Habeas Corpus demanding to go before a Court.
On one hand we have seen the Human Rights Act doing little to protect the rights of the majority of law-abiding citizens but has spectacularly been used to protect felons, murderers, terrorists and other forms of criminals. On the other hand now with the European Arrest Warrant our representatives in Parliament have given away our rights to a fair trial elsewhere on the continent.
It seems to me that the majority of MPs now have demonstrated a complete disregard for the rights and privileges of the people of these nations and that they no longer are the guardians of democracy. This Parliament is well past its “best before” date. In the words of Oliver Cromwell when he dissolved the Rump Parliament ‘You have sat for too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.’
We urgently need a majority of MPs who represent the wishes of the people and who are not constrained to party policy using a whip system, and who will rid us of the unjust EU laws, unnecessary directives, costly regulations, and the lack of representative democracy. The only way to get our rights and privileges and country back is to vote UKIP.