A few weeks back I joked about David Davis learning of an interesting alliance called the European Union following revelations that the Brexit MP was considering paying a fee for access to the single market as well as backtracking on several other mis-truths laid out on the campaign trail which would effectively leave us in a similar position to the one we voted to leave – just a few billion pounds lighter.
It’s a joke that seems to be becoming less funny by the day. Not only was the NHS cash promise immediately back-tracked on but immigration controls been dismissed as unworkable, visa restrictions have become a mainstay of all trade negotiations with countries outside the EU, the funding money for science and research has gone missing and now it looks as though the electorate was “duped” into believing that a referendum would grant the UK total legal freedom.
At least, that’s according to Dr Michael Arnheim, a human rights barrister and renowned authority on constitutional law, who has today outed the Leave campaigners claim that they would liberate the UK’s domestic courts from the ‘stranglehold’ of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
He said the so-called liberal, “over-zealous” approach, with judges regarding themselves as bound by the ECHR, is unlikely to change following Brexit. It means that foreign terror suspects and other potentially dangerous foreign criminals look set to remain in the UK indefinitely – despite the lawful means to send them home.
His argument is that most people put the blame for the liberal handling of extremists purely at the hands of the EU because of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ), yet while Brexit will remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the ECJ, which is the highest court in matters of EU law, it will not have any effect on the ECHR.
Aside from highlighting yet another Leave campaign lie, Armheim also demonstrates how similar things are likely to remain when the UK eventually leaves, something that seems to have become the norm in the negotiations. Perhaps, as Jonathan Freedland points out here, we should stop calling them lies and instead adopt the Owellian term “post-truth”, thus becoming acquainted with the new World in which people simply twist the truth to suit their agenda.