As the confusion over the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights is such a common problem, I’ve decided to start a series. No doubt after a few weeks of this series, both you and I will get sick to death of them and I’ll be forced to call the whole thing off, but until then…
Writing in Tuesday’s Express, Patrick O’Flynn, the Daily Express’ Chief Political Commentator, opened fire on the European Union:
In his column, he says:
DAVID Cameron has a problem looming on the horizon, and he knows it.
For month after month the European Union has brought nothing but bad news for the British people – and now they are rising up against it.
Our budget contributions are up sharply, we are contributing billions to bail out the casualties of the single currency and we face a new wave of migrants as the eurozone becomes an economic dead zone.
However, he then says:
On top of that, the European Court of Human Rights is demanding that prisoners are given the vote while making it impossible to deport hundreds of foreign criminals each year.
Which would be fine except for one thing; the European Court of Human Rights is part of the Council of Europe, an entirely separate institution from the European Union. One would expect the Chief Political Commentator of a national newspaper to know something like this.
The note issued to newsdesks by the European Commission last year has obviously still had no effect:
Information note to Newsdesks: European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is not part of the European Union (EU)
Newsdesks and subeditors are asked to note that decisions of the European Court of Human Rights should not be referred to as EU decisions, and the judgements should not be attributed to “EU judges”, or any similar language. The European Court of Human Rights is part of the Council of Europe, a completely separate organisation to the European Union. The UK is a founding member of the Council of Europe, which was created in 1949 by the Treaty of London.
Council of Europe website: http://www.coe.int