‘The EU ex­plained’

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Letters To The Editor -

Oc­to­ber 26 Dear Mr Jones, Hav­ing read your fea­tured ar­ti­cles in con­junc­tion with the two let­ters from Ge­off Spinks and the re­cent let­ter from Mal­colm Neill, to­gether with your own ob­ser­va­tions be­low each of those emails, I am bound to say that I con­sider that you have dis­played the pa­tience of Jove when ad­dress­ing th­ese two in­di­vid­u­als per­son­ally, es­pe­cially where firstly, each of the 2 let­ters from Ge­of­frey Spinks dis­played an al­most to­tal lack of knowl­edge as to (a) the func­tion­ing of the EU and (b) the role of the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights (EHIC), and in con­se­quence the role of the Court of Jus­tice for the Euro­pean Union (CJEU), formerly known by the short ti­tle of the ECJ

One of Mr. Spinks’ rea­sons for be­ing in the ‘leave’ camp is where he refers to the dif­fi­culty Theresa May had, as the Home Sec­re­tary, when at­tempt­ing to de­port that vile rad­i­cal Moslem preacher. Whilst this was as a di­rect re­sult of a de­ci­sion by the ECHR, when ac­knowl­edg­ing this fact Mr. Spinks nev­er­the­less fell into the same trap as so many oth­ers, by quite wrongly link­ing that court with our mem­ber­ship of the EU.

In re­al­ity, it is a com­pletely sep­a­rate in­sti­tu­tion and was set up as the guardian of the Con­ven­tion of Hu­man Rights (formerly known as ‘the Con­ven­tion for the Pro­tec­tion of Hu­man Rights and Fun­da­men­tal Free­doms). In­deed, the only things th­ese courts have in com­mon, apart from the rea­sons which gave rise to them, is where they share the same flag and each have adopted the Euro­pean an­them, ‘Ode to joy’ and also where the EU has adopted many of the pro­to­cols of the for­mer, but that is where the con­nec­tion ends.

Fur­ther, as a mat­ter of in­ter­est to all your read­ers, the Con­ven­tion came into be­ing for sig­na­tures in 1950 and there are now 47 Mem­ber States. Also its first pro­to­cols were drafted by English lawyers and this Court (ECHR) is over­seen by the Coun­cil of Europe, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each of the 47 Mem­ber States and from where its judges are also ap­pointed. I won’t go into the finer points of its mech­a­nism.

This Coun­cil should not be con­fused with the Coun­cil of the EU, as it is by Mr. Spinks et al, which is rep­re­sented by each of the 27/8 Mem­ber States with the guardian­ship in the hands of the Court of Jus­tice for the Euro­pean Union (CJEU).

The late Win­ston Churchill is ac­cred­ited with found­ing both th­ese in­sti­tu­tions, which arose from the ashes of WWII, the Con­ven­tion be­ing a di­rect re­sult of the many atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted both be­fore and dur­ing that con­flict, while the EU, on the other hand, was a more grad­ual de­vel­op­ment mainly for the ini­tial pur­pose of en­sur­ing Europe re­mained at peace.

The first de­vel­op­ment was in 1947, but Win­ston Churchill had al­ready writ­ten to his War Cab­i­net as early as 1942, set­ting out his own wishes thus: “Hard as it is now to say, I trust that the Euro­pean fam­ily may act unit­edly as one un­der a Coun­cil of Europe. I look for­ward to a United States of Europe.”

As you will be well aware, Win­ston Churchill was ousted in 1945 but that did not stop him from cham­pi­oning each of th­ese in­sti­tu­tions; al­though from 1947 their paths di­vided when de­vel­op­ing sep­a­rately, with the EU de­vel­op­ing from the Euro­pean move­ment. How­ever, it was not un­til March 1957 when two treaties were signed in Rome. The plot­ted his­tory which even­tu­ally led to the EU is too lengthy for me to go into now.

Sadly, even many MPs fail to draw the dis­tinc­tion be­tween th­ese two sep­a­rate in­sti­tu­tions, al­though I mostly sus­pect de­lib­er­ately when sup­port­ing the Brexit camp. Fur­ther, with re­gard to the case in ques­tion, this con­cerned a per­son’s right to re­spect for pri­vate and fam­ily life (Ar­ti­cle 8). In­deed, when al­lud­ing to that case Theresa May de­clared in the House that ex­tra­di­tion could not be ef­fected ‘even when the in­di­vid­ual has a cat’. This of course was ab­so­lute non­sense and a most de­lib­er­ate lie at a time when cer­tain mem­bers of the House were seek­ing to with­draw from the Con­ven­tion.

This con­fu­sion in the mind of Mr Spinks oc­cu­pied the first four para­graphs of his ini­tial let­ter be­fore he then he spouted forth fur­ther rub­bish about the Euro­vi­sion song con­test, when at­tempt­ing to sup­port his ar­gu­ment for Brexit, be­fore en­ter­ing the topic of the re­ported cur­rent es­ti­mate of the weekly cost to the UK (£500 mil­lion) in the con­text of Brexit and the ne­go­ti­a­tions, which he also con­tests.

I will not deal with all he wrote dur­ing his two ex­changes, but Mr Spink refers to there be­ing a big world out there. I should like to tell him that, ‘Yes, there is a big world out there, but it is an ever shrink­ing world and no longer the same world as he would choose to be­lieve’.

Mr. Spinks also chooses to rely upon Michael Gove’s state­ment about his fa­ther be­ing forced out of busi­ness in the fish­ing in­dus­try, as a re­sult of the UK’s mem­ber­ship of the EU. Here Mr. Spinks also re­vealed where he was com­pletely out of touch with events, be­cause Mr Gove was later forced to re­tract that state­ment af­ter his fa­ther de­clared that he had merely cho­sen to go into re­tire­ment.

Facts are the air of science and as won­der­ful as the wings of a bird may be, it could not fly with­out the air of science.

He also wrongly refers to the EU seek­ing to have an army and a po­lice force, be­cause with re­gard to the for­mer, I should not need to tell him that NATO is fall­ing apart and the fact that Don­ald Trump, in the light of grow­ing con­cerns about an­other world war, has al­ready de­clared that the main con­cern of Amer­ica is now cen­tred upon its de­fence of the Pa­cific and the Europe will have to de­fend it­self

I also noted where Mal­colm Neill, whilst at­tempt­ing to get on the Brexit band­wagon, also re­ferred to your lack of re­spect, whereas the lack of re­spect came from him. Also where he fool­ishly refers to their hav­ing been a demo­cratic vote, whereas, in truth, many of those most af­fected were barred from hav­ing their say, even though it was granted to Gi­bral­tar­i­ans, Ir­ish na­tion­als liv­ing in the UK etc. - not to men­tion the red bus and all those lies and other dis­hon­esty em­ployed by the main Brexit an­tag­o­nists.

On the other side of this de­bate the ‘Re­main­ers’ were ac­cused of ‘Project Fear’. I would add that nei­ther side prop­erly in­formed the peo­ple of the con­se­quences of the ref­er­en­dum in the run-up de­bates. Well, ‘Project Fear’ is now, fast, be­com­ing a re­al­ity, as are the con­se­quences of the re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum.

With re­gard to Mr. Spinks’s ob­ser­va­tion about a Euro­pean po­lice force, I should tell him that one al­ready ex­ists. It is known as Europol with a staff of 600 based in The Hague. Its pur­pose is man­i­fold, in­clud­ing the fight against ter­ror­ism, cross-bor­der se­ri­ous crime, drug traf­fick­ing, slave trade, cy­ber war­fare etc. It is there to pro­tect cit­i­zens by li­ais­ing with the law en­force­ment agen­cies of the Mem­ber States. In the world in which we now live Europol is an es­sen­tial agency within the EU.

Aged 82, I am more aware than most of the rea­sons for the Con­ven­tion on Hu­man Rights and the even­tual cre­ation of the EU, as both arose from the ashes of the fire like a Phoenix fol­low­ing those dark days of our his­tory when I slept un­der­ground in London. One has to ex­pe­ri­ence such things as bombs rain­ing down in or­der to re­ally grasp the need for Europe to act to­gether.

Even though I would be amongst the first to say that the EU has lost di­rec­tion and needs to be put back onto a demo­cratic path, this can only be achieved by work­ing on the in­side and not throw­ing the baby out with the bath wa­ter.

Fur­ther, one also needs to visit a death camp, such as the first camp at Dachau in or­der to grasp the real rea­sons for act­ing as one. I have vis­ited that place, al­though I re­fused my wife’s re­quest to take her there dur­ing our last visit to München (Mu­nich). I had also passed through Ber­gen-Belsen dur­ing the ‘Cold’ War. The no­to­ri­ous death camp was just a wild land­scape, hav­ing been wiped off the map on the or­ders of Gen­eral Eisen­hower.

Sadly, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity have very lit­tle idea of the mean­ing of the right of free move­ment, let alone all the other rights we are shortly to lose, in­clud­ing the very dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity that Bri­tish cit­i­zens will be re­quired to ap­ply for the new Euro­pean visa (ETIAS). Mr. Spinks pooh poohed the no­tion in his 2nd let­ter but he does not re­alise that bor­der con­trols through­out Europe are cur­rently be­ing set up in readi­ness for this new Schen­gen bor­der con­trol as of June 2021.

This is the EU’s link to the new visa re­quire­ments www.eti­asvisa.com/etias-re­quire­ments and the Com­mis­sion have al­ready an­nounced that, in all prob­a­bil­ity, it will af­fect Bri­tish na­tion­als, un­less there is an agree­ment to avoid it.

Rights which cit­i­zens have ac­quired in the civilised world should be cher­ished and not sur­ren­dered, as Mr Spinks and like­minded peo­ple would will­ingly choose to do.

Re­gards, David R. Bur­rage Novem­ber 7 Cre­vil­lente Dear Sir, The fol­low­ing story might be of in­ter­est to your read­ers.

Early 2015, we had moved houses af­ter the sale of a prop­erty in Tot­ten­ham north London, we had taken our three cats with us Kitty, Tinker­bell and Casper, then one night Casper the black and white cat went out for a walk but Casper failed to re­turn.

We trawled the streets, knocked on doors and printed posters which we placed in our new area and where we used to live. We also placed Casper on the mi­crochip miss­ing reg­is­ter and con­tacted An­i­mal Search UK who place miss­ing pets on their web­site with pho­tographs and de­tails.

We did re­ceive emails from peo­ple who thought that they had spot­ted Casper but to no avail, ev­ery time we went out we trav­elled with cat treats just in case Casper was spot­ted, the days turned into weeks then months.

In May 2018, we fi­nally made the big de­ci­sion to move to Spain, we then drove over with Kitty and Tinker­bell apart from be­ing robbed on the mo­tor­way just out­side Barcelona (an­other story) the 24 hour jour­ney was now 36+ hours we opened the door to our new home in Cre­vil­lente.

Still re­ceiv­ing emails from Pet Search, we never gave up hope of see­ing Casper again. Ev­ery time we had a po­ten­tial match we asked a fam­ily mem­ber to check it out, but ev­ery time No Casper, still hop­ing that he was safe and that some kind soul had given him refuge over the cold win­ter months and wa­ter to drink dur­ing the hot days of sum­mer.

Mov­ing for­ward to Au­gust 2018, the phone rang and then stopped I pressed re­call and re­di­alled the

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