Even if we scrap the Human Rights Act, we’ll still be beholden to EU laws – David Cameron

Published on The Telegraph.co.uk, by Matthew Scott, July 28, 2015: His plan for a British Bill of Rights will do nothing to reclaim our sovereignty – while his EU renegotiation ignores the real problem.

One thing that unites the vast majority of Conservative MPs is surely the belief that Parliament should be sovereign and the British Supreme Court should be supreme.  

They are perhaps quite pleased that the Prime Minister has instructed Michael Gove to make preparations for repealing the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a British Bill of Rights.

In fact, the Government’s plan will, if it succeeds, effectively entrench the precise opposite of what these MPs actually want.

the supremacy of our courts, the HRA is entirely beside the point. It requires the Supreme Court only to “take account” of Strasbourg decisions, not to follow them; and it gives courts, whether British or European, no power to strike down Acts of Parliament. Under the Human Rights Act the Supreme Court is supreme and Parliament is sovereign.

Video with David Cameron, 1.32 min, … //

… It may be that there is much to be said for EU law in general and for the Charter in particular. But given their potentially huge importance, we should at least be as honest and clear as possible about their legal effects. At present that clarity, and possibly that honesty, is lacking.

Renegotiating our relationship with the EU was a key Conservative election promise. Securing a better deal for Britain was supposed to justify David Cameron’s preference for campaigning against exit in the forthcoming referendum. You might therefore hope that EU law would be part of his deal. Yet you will search his manifesto in vain for any mention of constitutional affairs. Amidst vague ambitions such as “turbo-charging free trade” (whatever that means) or saying “no to a constant flow of power to Brussels” (would an intermittent flow of power be acceptable?), only one thing is clear: the Government does not intend to address the principle that gives EU law supremacy over both our Supreme Court and our Parliament.

(full text).

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