A petition signed by two million people has just been dismissed by the European Commission. It’s the largest petition in European history. The proposal was reasonable enough – they just wanted to stop the EU funding the destruction of human embryos. British taxpayers might be forgiven for being unaware that they were indirectly funding experimentation on dead embryos, as so little of the EU’s budget is made public.
On the 28th May the European Commission contradicted the ECJ ruling however. Rather than accepting the petition and passing it on to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to discuss, the Commission has dismissed it out of hand. By doing so it has wilfully prevented the elected representatives of Europe discussing this crucial policy area.
Should the British taxpayer care? Research on stem cells can bring real benefits in health care, and who is to say whether a human embryo has the same rights as a human being? The European Court of Justice apparently.
In December 2012, an ECJ judgement Brüstle v Greenpeace established the definition of the human embryo as the beginning of the development of a human being.
By extension this should grant the embryo human rights under Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. This is only logical. How can a foetus have the right to life at 24 weeks but not at 23 weeks and 6 days?
We did not enter the European Economic Community in 1973 to fund the immoral destruction of embryos. We did not enter to have an unelected body block the democratic wishes of the people. We entered the EEC for what we thought was an advantageous trading mechanism.
Given that the European Union cannot be returned to a Common Market we must Get Britain Out of the EU as soon as possible. When Britain is a sovereign nation again we can debate foetal rights, as well as many other policy areas on the floor of the House of Commons, as we have since time immemorial.