Since the Brexit referendum of 2016 government ministers and officials in the United Kingdom have worked towards a withdrawal deal with the European Union that will, among other things, strip the people of “Northern Ireland” of their existing rights and privileges as citizens of the EU, despite a clear majority in the disputed region rejecting any such outcome. Yet, incredibly, Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General for England and Wales and the current head of London’s revived Brexit negotiations with Brussels, is now claiming that the peace-protecting Backstop Protocol in the EU-UK Draft Withdrawal Agreement is the real threat to the human rights of Irish and British citizens in the Six Counties. According to The Guardian:
In the latest round of negotiations in Brussels, the attorney general told Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, the arrangement could potentially breach the European convention on human rights (EHCR).
Cox said unless the backstop could be shown to be a temporary arrangement, it risked breaching protocol 1, article 3 of the convention, which protects the rights of people to vote in order to choose their legislature.
In what appeared to be a curve ball, Cox told the EU that Northern Irish citizens would be unrepresented in the EU’s decision-making institutions, including the European parliament, thereby diminishing their rights.
It is understood Cox argued the risk of breaching the ECHR put an onus on both sides to show the backstop was temporary, and could be pared back in scope as alternatives to its terms emerged.
Diplomats expressed astonishment at Cox’s claim…
This must be one of the most mendacious claims to come from the United Kingdom in a veritable litany of false and misleading allegations made by its leaders and representatives since the country launched itself on its Brexit crusade some three years ago. The only signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights seeking to deny its application in the UK is the UK itself, with the cheerleaders of the anti-EU movement united in their hatred of the European Court of Human Rights (which most associate with the European Union and not the Council of Europe!). And this antipathy is driven, not least, by their fears that the international tribunal in Strasbourg might be requested to make further judgements in the innumerable cases being brought forward by the victims of Britain’s thirty-year dirty war in Ireland.