Europe Causes More Trouble for the Coalition Government

David Cameron faces problems within his own party as Nick Clegg insists that the UK will not withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The Conservative led Coalition Government is establishing a commission of enquiry to investigate the possibility of establishing a British Bill of Rights, but Clegg has won the battle to ensure that withdrawal from the ECHR will not feature in the parameters of the investigation.  This means that any Bill of Rights will have to fit around the already existing European legislation.

The rightwing, EU-sceptic, elements of the Tory party have been incensed recently by certain rulings by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, most notably that Britain must allow prisoners the right to vote.  They believe that total withdrawal from the convention is the only way to avoid such decisions in the future.

But this is short-sighted of them as the ECRH as most certainly been a force for good in the UK and the rest of the EU.  Decisions such as the Guardian/Observer vs. The UK Government back in the 80s show how effective it can be in protecting our rights and liberties.

Never the less, David Cameron is going to have to answer to his increasingly frustrated and angry party over this decision.  It is becoming more and more obvious that it is not just Lib-Dem back benchers who are finding the Coalition Government an uncomfortable arrangement.  Nick Clegg’s intractable pro-EU stance is creating even further dividing lines and you can’t help but think that either leader is going to have problems keeping their party ‘on song’ up till the next election.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Europe Causes More Trouble for the Coalition Government

  1. Very perceptive Mary but do you not also get the feeling that Cameron is cleverly using Clegg for cover in order to manage his back benchers.

  2. Might be worth pointing out that the ruling on the right of prisoners to vote was made by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (attached to the Council of Europe), and not the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg. I’m in full agreement that the ECHR has been a great (and effective) force for human rights in Europe for the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe.

  3. Daniel Oxley

    Europe or more specifically the EU is problematic for other parties as well. Each of the three leaders of the Lib/Lab/Con Party promised a referendum on the Lisbon Constitution and we still haven’t had it.

    Our political class are really bad workers. We pay them all that money and they can’t do a simple thing like organise a referendum. It is like paying a window cleaner who never cleans your windows. I WANT MY MONEY BACK!