A few further thoughts on the government’s HRA/ECHR story in the Telegraph this morning. And whether I should even bother to give further thoughts. /1
As @AdamWagner1 and others have said, this isn’t new. May wanted out of the ECHR, Raab is a long term opponent etc etc. An 80 seat majority does make a difference though, making it more of a potential reality. /2
And the same defenders of the Good Friday Agreement will point out the centrality of the HRA in ensuring peace. Ditto other MPs such as @joannaccherry who have consistently sought UK govt to remain publicly committed to it. /3
The long term commitment to replace the HRA (framed nowadays as ‘Labour’s HRA - and not in a complimentary way) with a ‘British Bill of Rights’ has gone nowhere, since there is little idea of what that means. /4
Except of course to remove/restrict rights from the usual targets of the ‘undeserving’: immigrants, criminal suspects, anyone who doesn’t like the govt and supported by ‘activist’ lawyers. /5
So, the chance of a ‘British Bill of Rights’ seems pretty low. And the attack again on the HRA night go away when there is something else to point the finger at (probably migration again). /6
Which begs the question: should we (again) be outraged and rise to the occasion when nothing might happen, pointing out that the UK drafted much of ECHR, first to sign, not part of EU, if we withdraw what chance for others to obey etc? /7
The answer is yes we should: any changes to our human rights protections need to be as open as possible in terms of what that means. No other country would seriously consider the ‘advantage’ of withdrawing (or ‘opting out’) or human rights law. /8
These are the protections for all those in the UK and it is unconscionable that removing rights for some is in any way a good idea. /9
So, frustrating as it is to deal with tired arguments about how the HRA is used as a tool for activist lawyers and judges to allow the undeserving to cheat the system (I paraphrase but only a little) then we have to keep going. /10
If we don’t, then the consequences are serious. And if that means falling into the trap of being outraged by those who seek to deliberately do so, then so be it. /END

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More from @Cardwell_PJ

26 Aug
Difficult to know where to begin with this obscene clip, a day after a young woman died of extreme poverty after claiming asylum and being unable to work. But let’s try. /1
Current regulations are ‘open to abuse’. What ‘abuse’? For an immigration-obsessed government in power for 10 years you might have expected to have solved this if it is such a big issue. /2
Attack on ‘activist lawyers’. Lawyers act on behalf of their clients and use the means allowed *in law* to get the best result for their clients. But aim here is to cast the blame wider than migrants themselves. /3
Read 8 tweets
19 Feb
The long awaited and much lauded 'Australian-style points system' is upon us. What is this likely to mean? /1 theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/f…
First, it isn't that new. The same conditions have long-since been applied to non-EU people, who face massive costs, unbelievable bureaucracy and the constant fear that the slightest mistake or restrictive reading of the constantly changing rules will invalidate them. /2
What is new is that this regime will now apply to EU citizens who have until now benefitted from free movement. There should not be a need to repeat this after 4 years, but this did not mean an unlimited right to settle in the UK. Restrictions were (and are) in place. /3
Read 18 tweets
21 Mar 19
Fairly sure that many EU-watchers and the public at large pretty shaken by a speech by May that did not actually tell us that much, or so it seemed. More than anything, it was the tone of blame on MPs. But I've gone through it line by line. /1
“Nearly three years have passed since the public voted to leave the EU. It was the biggest democratic exercise in our country’s history."

Tiresome: EUref used the general election voting list. So 'exercise' not bigger, but each vote equal unlike GE where many do not vote. /2
In fact, elections to the European Parliament in the UK are the biggest exercise as the electoral list longer (includes EU citizens), even though turnout much lower (but not voting is still a choice in an election). /3
Read 31 tweets
13 Feb 19
My timeline has filled up, unsurprisingly, with this tweet. It is both sad and contradictory in terms of its effects. But it is also worrying for another reason: it is just one Statutory Instrument (SI). Hundreds will be needed as the UK leaves the EU. (Short thread) /1
If SIs are spotted by someone somewhere, they might be withdrawn or corrected (in this case, it seems to be under the misapprehension the EUI is an EU institution) BUT only if (a) someone notices and (b) there is enough noise made that reaches the right ears. /2
However, these are bigs 'ifs'. It is impossible to know how many SIs will pass with untold effects because (a) the law is being read incorrectly (b) being misinterpreted (c) there is no consultation or impact assessment. /3
Read 11 tweets
21 Jan 19
“Stephen Crabb, former cabinet minister, said some of his Brexiter colleagues were being “deeply, deeply irresponsible” because they were making people think a no-deal Brexit would be acceptable”. This also explain an underexplored part of the ref. /1 gu.com/p/agdgx/stw
One of the main problems was that successive governments, Conservative and Labour, has underplayed the importance of the EU, tried to sideline it in debate or hide it under the carpet. Cameron set every interaction up as a 'battle', stoking the UK v EU myth. /2
In the referendum, for Cameron to then turn around and say that the UK needs to remain rang very hollow, as well as putting off anyone who did not want to be seen as allied to a Conservative government or wanting to give him an electoral kicking. /3
Read 7 tweets
7 Jan 19
After conversations with people outside the twitter/Univeristy/Brexit-commenting bubble, many people are sick of hearing about Brexit and switching off the news when it comes on. /1
This suggests to me that any predications about what a deal/no deal/PV are likely to fall on deaf ears. And exaggeration is taken to be the norm. /2
Worryingly, I think there is a general ignorance about 'settled status' and what this means. I get the sense people who do not have a personal connection to an EU27 citizen think that people who are already here will have no problems and are allowed to stay as before. /3
Read 7 tweets

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