Dream on, Dom! Raab powerless to thwart European court unless plug pulled on Brexit deal

Brexit: Ben Habib claims UK 'clearly isn't sovereign'

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And Ben Habib has said the only way Prime Minister Boris Johnson can free the nation from the “onerous obligations” imposed upon it is by ripping up his Brexit deal with the bloc completely. Speaking on Sunday, recently appointed Justice Secretary Mr Raab claimed the ECHR – which is an independent body and not one of the European Union’s institutions – was imposing too many “obligations on the state”.

Do ministers in the British government actually know what it is they have signed up to with the EU?

Ben Habib

Mr Raab, a lawyer by profession, explained he was formulating a mechanism to allow the Government to introduce ad hoc legislation to “correct” ECHR judgments – prompting one Brussels insider to warn such a move may be seen as an attempt to “put the proudness of Brexit above human rights”.

Meanwhile, Mr Habib, a long-term critic of both the Brexit withdrawal agreement signed on January 24, 2020, and the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed on December 30 of the same year, suggested Mr Raab had not studied either sufficiently.

He told Express.co.uk: “Do ministers in the British government actually know what it is they have signed up to with the EU?

“The new Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, talks of the onerous obligations imposed on the UK by the European Convention of Human Rights and in that he is correct.

“But contrary to his suggestions, there is nothing he can do about it.”

Mr Habib explained that the terms of the TCA required the UK to abide by the ECHR, even though it is not an EU body.

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He added: “As a lawyer, long term member of the Cabinet and a Brexiteer, Mr. Raab should know this.

“That he seemingly does not suggests he is either ignorant or in denial.”

Mr Habib stressed it was not only Mr Raab who was labouring under such a misapprehension.

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He said: “The Prime Minister himself is seemingly ignorant of the terms of his own deal.

“He often talks about the opportunities open to the UK now that we have left the EU but thanks to his deal there are very few.”

The TCA tied Britain into “level playing field” rules on state aid, competition, employment and the environment.

Consequently there was no chance of supporting British businesses when it was deemed necessary, no chance of buying British first and no chance of deregulation) while the environment rules committed the UK to what “the crippling cost of at least £1 trillion to deliver carbon net zero by 2050”, Mr Habib pointed out.

He added: “The Brexit deal is awful for the UK.

“It condemns the UK to being in the lunar orbit of the EU.

“So, if Mr Raab, sensibly as it happens, wants to reform the ECHR he would first have to convince the Prime Minister to ditch his awful Brexit deal. Good luck with that one!”

The UK Human Rights Act which was passed in 1998 incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.

However Mr Raab, who was replaced as Foreign Secretary by Liz Truss in September’s reshuffle, confirmed plans for an overhaul of the legislation at the Tory Party conference in September, referring to it as “nonsensical”.

He subsequently remarked: “I don’t think it’s the job of the European Court to be dictating things to, whether it’s the NHS, whether it’s our welfare provision, or whether it’s our police forces.”

A Government spokesman said: “We are reforming our human rights framework to make sure it commands public confidence.

“There is no plan to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights – and no need to do so to deliver our objectives.”

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