The 800th Anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta is timely, for it reminds us that England has been involved in what we now call ‘human rights’ for even longer than that.
Anglo-Saxon Kings of England were guaranteeing the right of access to the courts before the Conquest, a right which is clearly part of the modern human rights canon.
The evolution of our traditional rights and liberties since those early beginnings underpins our Constitution, our politics and our culture.
Now our human rights are in the hands of Continental judges who know little of and care even less for our long history of liberty and Common Law. It should be the British people and our Parliament which builds on that heritage and upholds our rights and liberties.
However whilst we remain members of the EU, this can never be so. Article 6.2 of the Treaty on European Union commits the EU to accede in its own right to the European Convention on Human Rights.
When it does so, the Convention will become undeniably part of EU primary law which, by virtue of Section 2 of the European Communities Act 1972, will in turn be fully binding upon the United Kingdom. We might withdraw from the European Convention ourselves, yet still be bound by it along this route.
The only definitive way to recover control of human rights is to withdraw from the EU.