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A reminder: opposing the EU does not have to be about immigrants

Tyrannical EU threatens our liberal laws

“If Britain is at little risk of such tragic convulsions, it’s exposed to the EU’s progressive authoritarianism in more surreptitious ways. The jurist Sir William Blackstone articulated the presumption of innocence, a cornerstone of British justice: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” The Napoleonic code that influenced much of continental Europe, and the EU, lacks that respect for individual liberty.

Take the European arrest warrant (EAW). Innocent British citizens have been subjected to Kafkaesque justice systems by a fast-track process that sidesteps basic safeguards. In 2014, Keith Hainsworth, an Ancient Greek tutor sightseeing in Greece, was wrongly accused of setting a forest ablaze. Arrested without a shred of evidence, a five-week nightmare saw him holed up in a notorious Athens jail. A Greek judge eventually released him, admitting a simple error that could have been cleared up with one phone call. The Hainsworths were left with legal bills approaching £40,000.”

– From a piece by Dominic Raab in the Sunday Times.

Update: There is an oddity in this morning’s edition of the Times. Under the heading “Understanding European Capital Markets”, which seems to be a series title, there is a little article that starts as follows,

What is the European Commission doing to improve the access to financing for start-ups and SMEs?

David Muxworthy is adamant that without the EU’s financial assistance, he would have been forced to give up more of the equity in his company to private investors. He is the chief financial officer of MyPinPad, a state-of-the-art technology company that specialises in authentication solutions for devices like mobiles and tablets.

According to this year’s European Parliament annual report, there are around 22 million SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) like Muxworthy’s operating in the EU, providing two thirds of private sector employment – around 75 million jobs. The International Monetary Fund describes these sorts of businesses – agile, innovative, entrepreneurial, job-creating and growing – as the “backbone” of the European economy. The EU is well aware of SMEs’ importance and has set up a series of financial organisations to help them fulfil their potential. Localisation is a key consideration, and focus is often given to geographical economic “clusters”.

Something in the tone struck me as a little off. The typeface was just very slightly different, too. Then I saw the discreetly placed logo at the top right corner. “In association with Goldman Sachs.” Ah.

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14 comments to A reminder: opposing the EU does not have to be about immigrants

  • Mr Ed

    But the EU arrest warrants protects us from the terrorists that we let in and cannot deport because of Human Rights legislation that EU membership mandates.

    And can you imagine how much easier life is for the bureaucrats now that they can extradite people without even providing a prima facie case?

    Have a heart.

  • “Muxworthy” – what a name for mockery. And certainly nothing to do with immigrants; with a name like that, he could be a character in a victorian novel.

    Seriously, who imagines that taking money in taxes and giving it to EU bureaucrats to invest will make for better investment choices than leaving it where it was? (No don’t answer that; I know the usual suspects not only say such things but, in many cases, are still making themselves believe it. 🙂 )

    I presume Goldman Sachs are handling these investments and so profiting and so motivated to place such ‘pretend to be a story’ ads in newspapers. UNLESS that is, placing these ads is a condition of their contract with the EU . In that case, the real source of the ad is the EU itself, finding yet more and less obvious ways of spending our money on telling us how to think.

  • Philippe Hermkens

    1. Do you think really that the English justice system is working properly ?

    2. Is It better to be judged in Sweden or in Walles ?

    3. The Human Rights Conventiom has nothing to do with the European Union .

    In short, the European Union is awful. What about a Jeremy Corbyn PM for 10 years ?What about Harold Winston PM ?

    Get real …

  • 2. Is It better to be judged in Sweden or in Walles ?

    Wales.

  • Mr Ed

    3. The Human Rights Conventiom has nothing to do with the European Union .

    In origin, yes, but that is beside the point. A horse has nothing to do with a cart in origin, but the two can be coupled together. Would you say that the cart has nothing to do with the horse if the horse is pulling it along?

    Article 6 (3) of the Treaty of Lisbon provides that the provisions of the ECHR (or as it was called here the ECPHRFF) constitute general principles of EU law:

    3. Fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union’s law.

    So to say that the Human Rights Convention has nothing to do with the European Union is not accurate, the European Union has adopted the Convention as part of the general principles of the Union’s law, so the two are inextricably linked.

  • James Hargrave

    Wales – though not if the dross who have formed the various post-devolution pseudo-governments in Cardiff Bay (one place one hopes for a rising sea level but the barrier will prevent it) get their itchy little fingers on the ‘administration of justice’. The devil makes work for idle hands and heads (brains would be inappropriate), and sure enough…

    Now if we brought back Great Sessions and had a Council for Wales run from somewhere not in hock to either the South Wales Tafia or the Welsh language loons – i.e. Ludlow…

  • pete

    The problem we have is that progressive authoritarianism appeals to both the Guardian/BBC mindset and to the people who run big business.

    They see it as an advantage of EU membership, not a drawback, as they will be the ones doing the bossing about.

  • Paul Marks

    Good post Natalie.

    The obsession with immigration (thanks for nothing Mr Farage – actually I am NOT a “free migration” person, but not a am I obssessed with one matter at the expense of everything else) is allowing the Leave campaign to be labelled as racist and so on – whereas it is really about many basic legal principles.

    And Mr Ed is quite correct – whilst the European Human Rights charter and “Human Rights Court” started off as nothing to do with the EEC (as it then was) they have been incorporated into E.U. “law” and into the institutional requirements of the E.U.

    This has been true for years.

    The European Union is an extra layer of government (so for any supposedly “Classical Liberal” person to support it is demented) and it is an extra layer of government that works in a particularly toxic way upon this country – see the works of Christopher Booker (and many others) for the details of how this works.

    We have a once in a lifetime chance to get this island out of the E.U. Let us not mess it up by running a campaign obsessed with bashing Eastern Europeans.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Perry de Havilland
    You quote (March 21, 2016 at 10:42 am) @Philippe Hermkens:

    2. Is It better to be judged in Sweden or in Walles?

    And then answer:

    Wales.

    I suspect that @Philippe Hermkens may have garbled the whole line (he seems to have trouble with the Shift key), and that what he meant to write may have been:

    2. Is It better to be judged in Sweden or by Wallies?

    – thus implying that the Swedes arguably maintain a higher standard of judgement than others.
    If that is the case, then I’m all for the Swedes, though I am somewhat surprised because, in my insularity, I had not realised they even had a justice system anymore – I thought it had been repealed, or something, the function having been moved into the Department of Social Services. Though perhaps they now have Shariah Law? I think, on balance, that could be a good thing. But we could probably easily establish whether they had gone Shariah, merely by a show of hands.

    Aside from that, I think the opening post is very interesting, and quite exciting. If anybody’s handing out cash to high risk startups, then I think I feel a startup coming on. Yay for the EU!
    Seriously though, I am now reconsidering my options. I think I might move back to the UK from sunny Australia. Ozzie lenders are a tight-fisted bunch, and they don’t protect one from terrorists the way the EU does.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Phillipe Hermkems writes, 2. Is It better to be judged in Sweden or in Walles ?

    Not a lot in it. But that’s because you’ve chosen Sweden, one of the better run countries of the EU. But for Keith Hainsworth the question was:

    Is it better to be judged in Greece, or in the UK?

    A lot more British people go to Greece than Sweden. May I remind you what the practical effect was for Keith Hainsworth of the pretence that all European Union jurisdictions are equal?

    In 2014, Keith Hainsworth, an Ancient Greek tutor sightseeing in Greece, was wrongly accused of setting a forest ablaze. Arrested without a shred of evidence, a five-week nightmare saw him holed up in a notorious Athens jail. A Greek judge eventually released him, admitting a simple error that could have been cleared up with one phone call. The Hainsworths were left with legal bills approaching £40,000.”

    There’s more on his case here. If that can happen to a 64 year old Oxford-educated semi-retired tutor of Ancient Greek, a man who is the very picture of respectability, it can happen to anyone.

    As it has.

    Since you ask, I have many, many complaints about the ways that the English justice system is indeed not working properly. And I’ve made something of a specialty of my further complaints about the ways that the Scottish and Welsh systems are even worse. But these things are relative. The list of European countries which I would prefer over the UK if I were in the dock is short. I don’t know much about Sweden’s justice system. Julian Assange doesn’t seem to trust it, but I don’t know whether I trust him. One thing I do know, while Sweden is in the EU its justice system has one gaping flaw. Do many Swedes go to Greece?

  • Philippe Hermkens

    My point is only that justice systems in Europe and US are not working properly.

    So to say that EU member states are evil except UK is silly

    They are more or less bad.

    Furthermore you had famous cases involving IRA members or the extradition treaty with the US who are more than horrible and happening in UK only. l am not at all defending the IRA butchers or UK fraudsters

    I am always amazed by the fact that people emphasises slight differences as being huge differences between countries, of course l am writing only about European Australia US, and so one

    I know perfectly well that the European convention of human rights is part of the European Union law.

    But the European convention of human rights is applied mainly almost exclusively on internal matters EU member states.

    If you are out the European Union but still a member of the Council of Europe, you will have no significant differences on asylum policy, jail policy, marriage rights , abortion rights now or in the near future

  • If you are out the European Union but still a member of the Council of Europe…

    First things first. And that first thing is to get out of the sclerotic EU, which then makes all manner of “unthinkable” things suddenly thinkable.

  • > 2. Is It better to be judged in Sweden or in Wales?

    If you are the recent-immigrant leader of a gang who have inflicted life-altering injuries on a girl, then _today_ it is better for you to be judged in Sweden. Regardless of how adult you look, a Swedish court will accept your claim to be underage (as will an advocacy group saying half of all immigrants are children)). You will be sentenced to a few months in an underage facility from which, when you get bored with tyrannising those in it who are genuinely underage, you can easily ‘escape’ (if that is not too strong a word).

    Of course, ten years ago, Rotherham might have suited you better. (Rotherham is not in Wales, but you get my point.)

    I agree very much with Natalie that opposing the EU is not only or even mainly about immigrants. Recently, however, certain continental EU-enthusiasts have begun working unusually hard to highlight immigration amongst the many issues they blatantly mishandle, fail to foresee consequences of, etc. In a rational world, all anti-EU argument on this justly-major issue would be rational. In the real world of British politics today, I do not see worse sense/nonsense ratios on this issue than on others – not on the _anti_-EU side, that is.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    As a minarchist, I support devolution on general principles, though if some rich libertarian were to make a movie about that visitor to Greece, and show it before the referendum, this case might help Britons decide to leave.