UK bound by European human rights treaty until 2022 as ‘Tories drop withdrawal plans’ : Express

BRITAIN may be bound by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) for another five years as senior Government figures claim the Tories are set to abandon plans to withdraw from the treaty.

Ahead of the EU referendum last year, Theresa May called for Britain to withdraw from the ECHR, accusing the convention of delaying the extradition of extremist Abu Hamza.

In her role as Home Secretary, Mrs May said: “The ECHR can bind the hands of parliament, adds nothing to our prosperity, makes us less secure by preventing the deportation of dangerous foreign nationals – and does nothing to change the attitudes of governments like Russia’s when it comes to human rights.

“So regardless of the EU referendum, my view is this: if we want to reform human rights laws in this country, it isn’t the EU we should leave but the ECHR and the jurisdiction of its court.”

However, senior Tories have now suggested plans to withdraw from the treaty may not be included in the manifesto because it could prove a major distraction while the Government attempts to negotiate Brexit.

One senior minister told the Telegraph: “We have so much on our plate that we just don’t have enough time to do this. We have enough to do with Brexit let alone the ECHR.”

The ECHR has been repeatedly criticised by Eurosceptics in Britain, who claim the treaty give judges in Strasbourg too much influence on laws in the UK on issues including the right to privacy and family life.

Leading Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith said the news that plans to withdraw from the ECHR may be dropped from the Tory manifesto was “disappointing”, but understood why it was necessary.


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