Sorry, Douglas, but you are a bit premature

Douglas Carswell resigned from UKIP last month and now sits as an independent MP. On his resignation, which was announced a matter of days after Mrs May triggered Article 50, he said “It’s a case of job done…..we have achieved what we were established to do.”

In other words, he felt that UKIP had served its purpose – a theme to which he returned yesterday during a speech at an event hosted by the Institute for Government:- “I think we’ve done our job, and I think we should award ourselves a medal, or a knighthood, and take pride that we’ve won….if you’ve won a battle or a war you disband and you go home”.

But is Mr Carswell right in saying that the job is done? Winning the referendum last June against all the odds was an amazing achievement and the triggering of Article 50 last month to begin our divorce from the EU was a truly significant milestone for our country, but there are still hard campaigns to be fought in the next two years if Brexit is truly to be Brexit.

Many readers will be aware of the campaign by Fishing for Leave to  see a swift denunciation of the 1964 London Convention and the exclusion of all CFP-related legislation from the “Great Repeal Bill” so that we will regain control of all our waters once we leave the EU. While there have been a few positive signs that the Government is listening, a long, hard battle will need to be fought if we are to secure a Brexit that truly means Brexit for our fishing industry.

An equally fierce battle will need to be fought to extricate the UK from the European Arrest Warrant. Chief Police Officers support continuing UK participation in this odious scheme and they have the backing of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Last month, the Campaign for an Independent Britain hosted a meeting where legal expert Torquil Dick-Erikson highlighted the grave flaws in the EAW and mentioned some of the miscarriages of justice which it has engendered. Thankfully, there is a growing awareness of this issue among Leave-supporting Tory MPs and Peers, but it will not be easy to force Ms Rudd to climb down.

A third critical issue is foreign policy. Our friends in Veterans for Britain are seriously concerned about our being far too closely linked to the EU’s military policy even after Brexit.  On independence, our foreign policy will inevitably diverge from that of the EU. There may well be instances when we will wish to work alongside them, but we need to keep our distance from the European Defence Agency if Brexit is truly to mean Brexit.

If that is not enough, the battle is not won when we have taken the UK out of the EU. The EU needs to be taken out of  many UK citizens, especially young people. Those of us who took part in debates in schools and universities were made all too aware of the damaging effect of years of pro-EU propaganda. Of course, some europhilia among our young people is very shallow and superficial, revolving around the ungrounded fear that Brexit will stop them travelling around Europe. Such concerns can be easily dissipated by older people relating their experiences of inter-railing in the 1960s, years before we joined the EU.

For some, however, their love of the EU goes deeper and will require somewhat more intensive de-programming. A re-vamp of our GCSE history syllabus is essential as so few young people have any knowledge of our development as a nation. This, of course, will be mean challenging the far too prevalent self-loathing mentality which likes to talk about racism and slavery and generally to demean our great country, ignoring our many remarkable achievements over the centuries which prove that we have the capacity to manage our own affairs – and indeed, to run our country much better without the EU’s “help”.

Mr Carswell’s comments were directed primarily towards his former party. While this website is not the place to debate whether his assessment of the state of UKIP is correct or not, we can but hope that he and those who agree with him will resist any temptation to put their feet up as far as the battle for independence is concerned. The referendum result and the triggering of Article 50 were indeed causes for celebration, but the battle for independence is not over yet.

The Law of the Land and Alien Law – a summary of CIB’s meeting, 15th March

On March 15th, the Campaign for an Independent Britain organised a meeting in the House of Lords to discuss the issue of alien legal systems in the UK.

We would like to thank Lord Pearson of Rannoch for arranging the venue and also our two visiting speakers, Anne Marie Waters of Sharia Watch and Torquil Dick-Erikson of Save British Justice.

Our Chairman, Edward Spalton, opened the meeting, introducing the speakers and the subject in question. What bound together the two subjects of Sharia law  and the European Arrest Warrant was their insistence “on imposing alien law and making it superior to our own law of the land. For some reason, which  I cannot fathom, there are presently and have been for two generations  now, many of our leading fellow countrymen and women who think so little of their own people, land and culture that they are willing to submit it to one or other or both of these projects.

Anne Marie explained that the problem with Sharia Law  was that, because the state does not enforce it and it thus has no legal validity in official UK Law, in reality, for many Muslims, particularly women, the situation is very different. “Most Muslims do not make an active choice to be Muslims, they are born in to their religion.  Their family life, community life, is inextricably bound up in the religion.” Islamic law – i.e., Sharia – is therefore the code by which they are bound and unofficially, in spite of its lack of formal legal status. This is a particular concern when it comes to family law.

In Sharia family law, a wife is worth less than her husband.  She cannot divorce of her volition, even if she subject to violence and abuse.  Her testimony in a family law dispute is worth only half of her husband’s.  This is intended to make it as difficult as possible for women to ‘win’ in any family law dispute.  The reason for this is simply because the Koran deems women to be worth less than men.  Furthermore, in Sharia law, the best interests of the child do not come first – again in defiance of the standards, principles, and spirit of British law.  The best interests of the child do not come first in sharia because Islam deems that children are the property of their fathers, who has sole power over their lives.  Mothers have no input and no rights.” To put it simply. these Sharia courts, for all their lack of official status, are still making decisions which have a huge impact on the lives of women and children in particular.

She concluded “We must stop pretending that there is nothing specific to Sharia that should worry us.  There is. It is a system predicated on male dominance, on violent punishment, on arbitrary whims of clerics, and on complete disregard for the humanity and rights of children.  Sharia is not compatible with Britain; it’s not compatible with our social values, our legal principles, or who we are as a nation.  Its practice should therefore not be permitted.  The fundamental principles of British law should instead be upheld as supreme.”

Torquil began by warning us that it still appears to be the Government’s intention to keep us invovled with the EU’s justice system on Brexit. Britain will try to remain in European Union security organisations and systems such as Europol – the EU’s law enforcement agency – and the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) after Brexit. These are the words of Amber Rudd, the current Home Secretary.

He went on to explain the fundamental differences between UK law and that of the EU. In your humble scribe’s opinion, this was one of the clearest explanations of the incompatibilities of the two systems that he has ever heard.  At the heart of Magna Carta was its commitment to individual freedom – a determination to limit the power of the king and to avoid the concentration of power into too few hands. Almost at the same time, on the Continent, Pope Innocent III was  setting up the Inquisition, which sought to “unify the functions of accusation and judgement, into the same hands, those of the Inquisitor. The function of defender was kept quite separate. With the Inquisition the dice were loaded in favour of the accuser.”

Although ironically it was Napoleon’s armies which finally destroyed the power of the Inquisition in Spain, “Napoleon was a law-giver. His codes underlie many of Europe’s laws to this day. Unfortunately he did not adopt the English system, derived from Magna Carta, which aimed to limit the power of the State over the individual. Instead he adopted and adapted the essential methods of the inquisition. Continental European criminal-law systems are called ‘inquisitorial’ to this day. He adapted the system by re-orienting it, from the service of the Church to the service of the State.”

Of particular interest was Torquil’s  debunking of the myth that Continental law must be OK because all EU member states have signed the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR “does not contemplate what we in Britain would consider a right of Habeas Corpus. All it says, in article 6 is that a prisoner has a right to a public hearing before an impartial tribunal in a ‘reasonable’ time. But nowhere does it define what is ‘reasonable’.”

In the UK, a prisoner must appear in a public court within hours, or at most, a few days (with the exception of certain terrorist offences, but on much of the Continent, “for many EU states, under their Napoleonic-inquisitorial jurisdictions, it is considered ‘reasonable’ to keep a prisoner under lock and key with no public hearing for six months, extensible by three months at a time. These are the terms of the Commission’s Corpus Juris proposal for an embryo single uniform criminal code to cover the whole of Europe, including the British Isles.” Torquil mentioned Andrew Symeou, who spent nearly a year in a Greek prison on trumped-up charges as a result of being served with a European Arrest Warrant.  Torquil went on to ask “why do the European courts need to be able to keep a prisoner in prison for so long before formally charging him? There is a simple reason. In Britain, the Habeas Corpus right to a speedy public hearing after arrest ensures that the investigators have to find some pretty solid EVIDENCE of a prima facie case to answer BEFORE they arrest someone. This is based on Magna Carta’s article 38. It seems to us to be mere common sense.

On the continent, in contrast, they only need a suspicion, based on mere clues or what we would consider to be very flimsy and insufficient evidence, in order to arrest and imprison a person. They can then seek EVIDENCE AFTER they have arrested him. And of course it is quite “reasonable” for them to say that this can take months. This is the official reason. Of course there may also be other reasons, derived from the historic roots of their system in the Inquisition. In the bad old days they used the rack and thumbscrews, but nowadays they may be hoping that the harshness of unpredictably lengthy prison conditions will induce the prisoner to CONFESS.”

He proposed withdrawing from the ECHR as well as from participation in the EAW. We were able to cooperate with police forces within the EU before the EAW came into being and he urged that the UK should withdraw at once from the EAW, and replace it with an arrangement similar to that which prevailed before the EAW was brought in.”

Although criminal law may seem an esoteric issue, given how few of us are likely to find ourselves being charged with an offence, it is actually very important. “Criminal law is the basis of State power, and seizing control of the criminal law is essential if one is to take over an existing State, or to build a new State, as the EU seeks to do.  Why? Because the essential distinguishing feature of any State is the ability to use violent coercion on the bodies of the citizens – legally….Different peoples with different value-systems have different ideas of Right and Wrong, what is Justice and what is Injustice. We see this with crystal clarity when we consider Sharia law. But in any case, the criminal laws are the handle for regulating State power over the individual.  It is therefore in the criminal laws that the safeguards of our FREEDOM are to be found.”

So Brexit will not truly be Brexit unless we are free of the power of an alien legal system. “The two systems cannot co-exist in the same state. One must prevail.” These same comments could equally apply to Sharia Law as well.

The talks were followed by a lively question-and-answer session. 

Edward’s introduction can be downloaded here

Anne Marie’s speech can be  downloaded here

and Torquil’s speech can be downloaded here.

That booklet!

We have received a number of e-mails from people very angry about our money being spent by the government producing the booklet which landed on our doormats last week.

Some people have very kindly responded by making a donation to us, for which we are most grateful. “I don’t want my taxes used on propaganda… so I have to do my bit to redress the balance” said one kind contributor.

But what of the booklet itself? It has been criticised  – and with good reason – both for its style and content. Rosalind Moffitt, an inclusive communications consultant at Inklecomms, said of the former, “I….am astounded by the long and complex sentences within the leaflet. It also uses many unnecessarily difficult words. The leaflet is written at a complex level for average-low literacy readers, so it will be difficult for many to read and understand” Good news for the Brexit campaign!”

Turning to the content. Lord Wemyss did not mince his words, calling it “senseless twaddle – insulting to the intelligence of the recipients.”

This is indeed a good summary. If the “twaddle” can be categorised, most of it comes under three headings:-

  1. So-called “benefits” which aren’t actually very beneficial.
  2. Benefits which we don’t actually need to be in the EU to enjoy
  3. Untrue and misleading statements.

In the first category comes the European Arrest Warrant, which is mentioned under “keeping us safer”. Since 2004 (when the EAW was first introduced), we are told “over 1,000 suspects have faced justice in  UK courts and over 7,000 have been extradited.” Fine. You try telling people like  Andrew Symeou or  Edmond Arapi how wonderful the EAW is. These men suffered gross miscarriages of justice, being exposed to judicial processes on the Continent which do not include the legal safeguards we are accustomed to in the UK. It is so easy to forget that Magna Carta may have crossed the oceans, but it never crossed the Channel. One consequence of this is that you can be tried in absentia, tried on hearsay evidence or kept in detention for ages without being charged. The EAW potentially exposes any one of us to all these horrors.

Also sold as a benefit, on page 12, we are told that “the EU is leading the world on tackling climate change”. Try telling those made redundant in the now defunct UK aluminium smelting industry what a good thing this is! Perhaps when we suffer blackouts because our government has signed up to unachievable emissions targets we will console ourselves with how virtuous the EU is being!

Turning to the second category, the phrase “Single Market” comes up no fewer than eight times. There are probably few regular visitors to our website who aren’t aware that we can retain access to the Single Market on leaving the EU by re-joining EFTA and availing ourselves of the European Economic Area agreement.  The booklet boasts how the EU “guarantees many employment rights” without mentioning, of course, that most employment legislation originates with global organisations like the International Labour Organisation. These benefits would not disappear if we left the EU.

“EU reforms in the 1990s have resulted in a drop in fares of over 40% for lower cost flights”, proclaims the booklet.  Once again, one has to question whether this benefit would disappear if we left the EU. to help us answer this question, guess which airline won the “Best low-cost airline in Europe” award in 2015? It was called Norwegian and furthermore, this airline which seems to hoover up awards, flies to a number of European destinations but isn’t based in the EU.

What about the untrue and misleading statements? It’s hard to know where to begin. Going back to the Single Market. we are informed that “No other country has managed to secure signficant access to the single market without having to follow EU rules over which they have no real say /pay into the EU”. Shoddy work here. As we have pointed out, Norway is widely consulted  in the framing of EEA relevant legislation (which amounts to less than 25% of the total Acquis)  and the price it pays to access the singel market is peanuts compared with how much we pay per capita to the EU as a memebr state.

The first page proclaims that “the UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU.”  Oh really?  The legality of the agreement has been widely questioned, with Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, the vice-president of the European Parliament, describing it as “nothing more than a deal that has been hammered out down the local bazaar”.

Part of the “deal” is that “we will not join the Euro” Didn’t we secure that opt-out over 20 years ago? What about the “tough new restrictions on access to our welfare for new EU migrants”? Well, suppose that, say a  Latvian decorator moves over here after 2016, falls off a ladder and breaks both legs after living here for three years dyring which time has only worked for 29 months. In theory, he shouldn’t get much out of our system under Dave’s new deal. In practise….?

Keeping our own border controls is another benefit which is part of our “special status” so we are told. Once again, if this means that we are not part of Schengen, this is not exactly a show-stopper. We secured an opt-out here many years ago.

The biggest criticism, however, is that nowhere in this booklet does the word “sovereignty” come up. The  EU’s unique selling point is that it requires member states progressively to hollow out their national institutions and surrender soverignty to supranational institutions. These other issues are peripheral. the creation of a federal superstate is the EU’s raison d’être. Failing to mention it is rather like a supplier of fruit trees illustrating its products with lovely pictures of apple blossom but failing to show a single picture of a nice ripe apple or to mention that the reason you buy an apple tree is to eat of its produce.

To be blunt, this reluctance even to mention what the EU is all about is just plain dishonest. If the referendum is won by the “remain” side without this issue being at the centre of the debate, it will have been a pyrrhic victory which will leave us stilll being the EU’s awkward partner, always dragging our feet and being outvoted more than any other member state.

Is this really what Mr Cameron  wants? it will be a most unsatisfactory legacy. Best for his sake and for our country if we deny him such an opportunity by securing a vote to leave.




The dangers of Corpus Juris

This letter was sent to the Daily Telegraph on 14th October by Christopher Gill, President of The Freedom Association.


Lord Bamford (Daily Telegraph 14th October) is right to draw attention to the ‘price we all pay for our EU membership’ but there is yet another price that we all ignore at our peril.

Remaining within the EU means that ultimately we will find ourselves obliged to adopt the EU’s corpus juris in lieu of our own criminal justice system.

The existing European Arrest Warrant which permits arrest without the necessity to produce evidence of an offence having actually been committed is but a foretaste of what is to follow.

Under corpus juris there would be no law of habeas corpus, no presumption of innocence, no right to trial by jury, no protection against double jeopardy etc. etc.

In short, the loss of all the defences and protections against State inspired coercion that British subjects have enjoyed since time immemorial is a yet another not inconsequential price we would also have to pay.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Gil

The EAW opt-in – another government omnishambles and a very dangerous one

Has anyone in the government come out well from the fiasco in Parliament last Monday over the European Arrest Warrant (EAW)? Certainly not Prime Minister David Cameron or Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

When the Lisbon Treaty was signed, the UK secured an opt-out on 133 law and order measures, but Mrs May stated her intention for the UK to opt back into 35 of them, including DNA sharing and the EAW. These 35 are the important ones. The other 100 or so are of little importance. A number of Tory MPs have long been concerned about the impact of the opt-in and have pushed hard for the House of Commons to be allowed to vote on the opt-in. It was very clear to Mrs May that a substantial number of MPs opposed the opt-in. However, subsequent one-to-one talks halved the number of “rebels” from 100 to about 50. With Labour support, the measure could have gone through, but at the last minute, it was announced that the only vote to be allowed last Monday would cover 11 of the measures but not the EAW. The Speaker, John Bercow, called it “sorry saga” and Jacob Ress-Mogg, a staunch opponent of the EAW, said this was “fundamentally underhanded”. Another Tory MP, Sir Richard Shepherd, stood on his feet and asked why the MPs were there, and what was the purpose? The parliamentary session on Monday descended into an angry farce.

A number of senior policemen have argues that the EAW is essential to protect the public from criminals. So why were so many Tory MPs uncomfortable? Simple. Surrendering more power to Brussels is too high a price to pay for making it easy to extradite criminals to and from other countries. Prior to the Lisbon Treaty, all EU crime and policing laws were dealt with “inter-governmentally”. However, the architects of the Treaty were keen to place these measures under the remit of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the enforcement powers of the European Commission. In spite of apparent concessions which the government claims to have gained, there is still a threat that UK citizens may be extradited to another country and charged for an offence that is not a crime in our country. We cannot be confident that the legal process in some other EU member states operates to the standards to which we have been accustomed, even though the presumption of innocence is written into the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The EAW is likely to see more incidents like the fiasco in 2001 when 12 innocent British aircraft spotters were arrested in Greece on a charge of spying. Do we want any more UK citizens to go through the ordeal faced by Deborah Dark? This victim of European “justice” was arrested at gunpoint while on holiday in Turkey in 2007, as the French authorities had issued an EAW seeking her extradition on drug smuggling charges of which she had been acquitted 18 years earlier. She was released and returned to the UK, but although Westminster magistrates refused a subsequent extradition request from France, believing there was no case to answer, she could face re-arrest if ever she travelled on the Continent. Only a couple of weeks ago, Rory Gray found himself in court courtesy of the EAW after being sued by a foreign doctor. In 2008 an inquest found that Mr Gray’s father, David Gray, was unlawfully killed in 2008 after Dr Daniel Ubani, a Nigerian-born Germany citizen who was working as an out-of-hours locum GP, fatally administered 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine. The doctor was struck off the medical register in the UK. Mr Gray and his brother, Stuart, interrupted a medical conference in Germany, calling Ubani a “charlatan”, “killer” and “animal”. Now a court in Lindau, Germany, has ruled that Gray must pay three-quarters of the legal costs, running into thousands of pounds, and to write Ubani a letter promising never to call him an animal again. It has also threatened him with a £200,000 fine if he repeats the insult. Thanks to the EAW, more such absurdities could happen in the future.

If more people were aware of how many safeguards in our legal system are absent in those of many European countries, last Monday’s rebellion would have been even worse. In the UK, we are far better protected against false accusation, arbitrary arrest and wrongful imprisonment than our continental neighbours. Under our Common Law, defendants have a right to silence. No one may be tried in absentia – in other words without being present in court. Press coverage is restricted when a case is sub judice so as not to prejudice a fair trial. Most importantly, except where terrorism is involved, any person who is arrested must be charged in open court within 24 hours of arrest. Crucially, the ‘charge’ has to be backed by prima facie evidence as opposed to hearsay. Even when the suspect is thought to have committed murder, detention without charge may only be extended, with the permission of magistrates, to a maximum of 96 hours.

Even the Pro-EU Open Europe think tank has pointed out that by maintaining an opt-out, the government “could have provided the basis for Britain to negotiate a new deal, perhaps using a bilateral UK-EU treaty, thus solving some of the underlying concerns.” In the short term, again to quote Open Europe, we would have had to “fall back on previous arrangements that were slower, less reliable and therefore may allow some criminals to escape justice.” But were the previous arrangements so bad? Petrina Holdsworth, the Chairman of CIB and a lawyer by profession, doesn’t think so. “It was perfectly straightforward,” she said. “If we were satisfied that we had an extradition treaty with the requesting country, the correct person, evidence to support a prima facie case against that person and the offence for which the suspect was sought was an offence in the UK then the suspect was extradited. The suspect had the right to be represented and the Stipendiary Magistrate had the duty to consider all the legal arguments put before him by both sides. OK it took up a bit of court time but it worked and we all felt that it was a proper system.”

CIB’s President, George West, was recently told by a policemen that “we wouldn’t be supporting these powers if politicians didn’t keep pushing free movement and EU expansion.”

David Cameron has not come out well from this fiasco. He promised a vote to MPs, and then denied them the chance of voting on the measure which really counted. Once again “Cast-Iron Dave” has broken his word. He cannot be trusted, although in a sense, his behaviour comes as no surprise. A while ago, he also talked of wanting to renegotiate our relationship with the EU so that “UK police forces and justice systems are able to protect British citizens, unencumbered by unnecessary interference from the European institutions” but he and his Home Secretary have pursued a totally opposite course. Political objectives, no doubt accompanied by sheer laziness on the part of senior policemen and MPs have allowed the EU to drive another nail into our ancient liberties. Labour has announced that it will attempt to stage a fresh vote on the warrant on the day before the Rochester & Strood by-election – a cynical ploy as much as anything. Also, a legal challenge has been mounted by Stuart Wheeler and Jacob Ress-Mogg. “The failure of the Government to give the vote it promised makes it easier for the courts to judge against [the warrant’s] legality because there was no clear endorsement by Parliament. Courts in general don’t like to go against what Parliament has voted on”, said Mr Rees-Mogg. CIB wishes them well, but if the court case is thrown out, the only way out of this dangerous impingement on our liberties is for us to leave the EU. Only thus can our police once again be the protectors of our liberties. They are currently slowly being converted into the agents of a foreign state.

The European Arrest Warrant and the King Family – A letter from Rev. Philip Foster

Rev Philip FosterTo:- Simon Hayes
Office of the Police Crime Commissioner for Hampshire
St George‘s Chambers
St George‘s Street
Hampshire SO23 8AJ

1st September 2014

Dear Mr Hayes,

I was intrigued by your interview on the Today programme this morning where you claimed (rightly as it turns out) to know little about the Law.

You kept saying that a judge had approved the European Arrest Warrant and that this therefore showed this was evidence of some crime‘ committed by the King family.

You obviously do not realise that no evidence of a crime is required for the issuing of an EAW and that when one is issued a judge is not able to ask for evidence, he must just rubber stamp‘ it.

There was no crime. It is not a crime to take your child from a hospital; particularly when they have treated him to the best of their limited ability – cutting out a tumour – and now intending to blast his brain with X-rays which will likely render the child a vegetable (having already lost the ability to speak) and then essentially allow him to die. Proton beam therapy may or may not work for the child, but it is better than X-rays and were I the parent I would have done the same.

Your police in Hampshire have truly made fools of themselves (it was not a police matter in any way) and, as a consequence of their officious stupidity, a family is suffering appalling cruelty – though I am sure the officers who went to Spain are enjoying their junket at the taxpayers‘ expense.

Yours sincerely,

Rev Philip Foster MA