Sunday, November 17, 2019
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We’re trapped in Europe’s web of injustice

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DR Lee Rotherham removes another of the many veils masking the awful truth of the EU machine in his forensic Telegraph article ‘Spectre of a federal Europe lurks behind this extraordinary attack on Brexiteers’.

The ECJ is unmasked as a politically motivated court of justice, set up to forward the federalist agenda and to fight off any counterweight to that trajectory. This fact underlay my recent TCW article which showed that the EU is far from being the engine for workers’ rights but, since the Lisbon Treaty, has crushed them on the altar of EU integration through binding, irreversible, ECJ case law.

Dr Rotherham’s researches tell us how the retiring ECJ advocate general, Eleanor Sharpston QC, in a formal court ruling fiercely condemned any who resisted EU solidarity in terms of settling and sharing out migrants between the countries of the EU. ‘Solidarity is the lifeblood of the European project,’ she remarked. ‘Sharing in the European “demos” is not a matter of looking through the treaties and the secondary legislation to see what one can claim. It also requires one to shoulder collective responsibilities and (yes) burdens to further the common good.’

She went on to castigate penny-pinching, selfish attitudes and questioning the costs and benefits. ‘Such self-centredness is a betrayal of the founding fathers’ vision for a peaceful and prosperous continent. It is the antithesis of being a loyal Member State and being worthy, as an individual, of shared European citizenship. If the European project is to prosper and go forward, we must all do better than that.’

That is the language of the European Court of Justice, a politically driven engine, with its own idea of fairness, reasonableness, justice, shaped by the vision of the founding fathers for an ever closer union and federal integration. We are a ‘European demos’, now a doctrine in a verdict of the EJC, with a value in terms of precedent.

It is hard for a Brit to grasp how all-encompassing the goal of the EU is to attract, train and promote people who are sympathetic to its cause, notably judges and academics. In our eyes this is transparent political bias, as many found to be exemplified in the performance of the Supreme Court, coming of age under Lady Hale and her eleven- nil victory for the ‘remainer’ Blairites against HMG’s prorogation of Parliament.

Yet political bias traditionally is anathema to British justice: we would tend to equate politically driven judges with the Soviet System or the Third Reich as a matter of principle. Genuine human rights legislation we have always perceived to be at risk in a politically shaped judicial system: in fact human rights were developed as a backlash against such state power, including judicial power, being exercised against dissenting individual or groups.

Dr Rotherham tells this story at a crucial time in our political history. At present our PM is announcing his ‘fantastic deal’, all ready to deliver Brexit by Christmas. But the fact is that the UK will be put back in the EU oven as soon as Johnson signs us into this binding International Treaty, one that has no termination clause, as Caroline Bell explains here.

Immediately on signing we are put into a purgatorial punishment of special measures, including accepting the ECJ as our direct supreme court. To quote Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: ‘The supposedly non-binding Political Declaration keeps the UK subject to the Acquis on the environment, labour law, taxation, competition, and state aid. Non-regression clauses make this law impossible to repeal even where it is manifestly harmful. Paragraph 132 states that the ECJ will have the final say on disputes . . . Paragraph 135 establishes a punishment mechanism, with fines for breaches of the accord.’ No mutual recognition has been secured for future trade in services, ensuring that the EU keep their £90billion trade surplus while leaving the City open to further EU taxation, and keeping the future of our agriculture and fisheries unresolved and insecure. 

The ECJ is a court that can operate on no basis other than that illustrated by Ms Sharpston’s ruling above. It is there precisely to forward federalism, as Dr Rotherham shows, so for the ECJ the idea of a major state withdrawing from this Treaty of Rome project is akin to taking poison. It is a horrific counter-project, it is like a mathematical surd, it should not exist, it is purely negative and destructive. There can be no goodwill to the UK project of leaving.

In Boris’ WA/PD tunnel of continued vassalage the ECJ reigns, it can fine the UK should it deem us to have sinned, and this is all in the overall context of an international Treaty with no termination clause. Appeal to a wider international court of justice is specifically ruled out. We cannot but ask: how is such a WA/PD remotely ‘just’ or ‘fair’ to both parties, when it is the EU’s arbiter which has the final say? The answer is that the ECJ works on its own brutal logic and any higher notion of moral justice is foreign to it. Is this a ‘level playing field’, Mr Barnier, or is it transparent ‘discrimination’?

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Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw is a Theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman

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