Boris Johnson is preparing to reject EU demands to guarantee that the UK will continue to be bound by European human rights laws once the country becomes fully independent, The Telegraph can disclose.
This newspaper understands that British negotiators will refuse to accept proposed clauses in a post-Brexit trade agreement that would require the UK to remain signed up to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) - leaving the door open to break away from the treaty as soon as next year.
The move is threatening to cause a major row within the Government, with some figures strongly opposed to the country leaving the convention, which was signed after the Second World War to safeguard rights across the continent.
Several Cabinet ministers, including Priti Patel and Dominic Raab, have previously warned that the ECHR has been repeatedly "abused" by European judges. Dominic Cummings, who is now the Prime Minister's most senior adviser, has previously attacked the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for judgments, based on the ECHR, requiring the UK to give prisoners the right to vote, and blocking the deportation of "dangerous" foreign criminals.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWriting in 2018, Mr Cummings said: "If I get involved in politics again, then a referendum on the ECHR should be high on the agenda — and bear in mind most people probably think we’re already leaving it because of the 2016 referendum, so imagine how mad they’ll be when they realise we’re still in it."
The European Commission's formal negotiating mandate, published last week, revealed that the EU is seeking clauses in the bloc's trade agreement with the UK that would automatically end all "law enforcement cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters" if the UK were to "denounce the ECHR". It also wants provisions requiring the suspension of cooperation between EU and UK authorities if Britain repeals the Human Rights Act - the legislation allowing British courts to apply the ECHR.
The Telegraph understands that Mr Johnson's negotiating team, led by David Frost, his EU adviser, will reject demands for the clauses, so that the UK can be free to leave the ECHR or repeal the Human Rights Act at a later date. A Tory source described the demands as "inappropriate", stating: "We will uphold human rights in our way." The UK's mandate contained no reference to upholding the convention in the future.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMr Raab, now the Foreign Secretary, and Ms Patel, the Home Secretary have previously called for the Human Rights Act to be replaced with a British Bill of Rights, which Mr Raab said would "reform our relationship with the Strasbourg court." The Bill of Rights was pledged by David Cameron in 2010 but blocked by the Liberal Democrats. Martin Howe, a QC who helped draw up Mr Cameron's proposals, said: "It is extremely important that we keep our options open for the future."
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMr Cummings has stated that simply repealing the Act would simply "tweak" the current situation.
"Provided we are still committed under international law to the Strasbourg court, then we will continue to suffer from the often abysmal judgements made there," he wrote in a blog in 2015, in the run-up to the referendum.
Mr Johnson's election manifesto pledged to "update" the Human Rights Act to ensure "a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government."
Meanwhile, the UK is due to start separate trade talks with the US later this month - putting further pressure on Brussels to reach an agreement.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe UK's negotiating objectives for the US deal, which will be published tomorrow [Mon] include stipulating that the NHS is "not for sale" and that the Government will uphold high standards on food safety and animal welfare.