Free votes

 

There has been some very odd coverage of yesterday’s events in the Commons. Mr Raab’s amendment was decided by a free vote on the Coalition side, and a whipped vote to oppose it by Labour.  Those of us who voted for Mr Raab’s amendment were not therefore “rebels” as described in parts of the press. Conservative  Coalition Ministers abstained, presumably because there was no agreement between the two parties in the Coalition.

Labour opposed it on the grounds that it would be illegal. They were joined by Liberal Democrat MPs.  Mr Raab, a lawyer, had a different view and argued that it would not be illegal under the European Human Rights Convention. Had it been passed – and had it also passed the Lords – it might have been tested in court. Who can be sure what the outcome would have been? The UK government is 0ften these days tested in European courts for decisions they have taken.

Many MPs voting for the amendment, which would have made it easier to deport serious criminals from the UK, felt that anyway Parliament ought to have the power to be able  to change the law in these important matters, and that this needed to be re-established by Statute law.

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77 Comments

  1. Jennifer A
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It was described on BBC Ceefax as being “…saved from the Tory rebels.” Saved ?

    The political elite – with a few exceptions – is completely out of touch with the public. In fact the political elite seems to be totally contemptuous of the public.

    • lojolondon
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      The political elite AND Mainstream Media – you can see they don’t live in a poor neighbourhood with rampant crime and undisciplined ‘yoof’ threatening their homes and families, especially children in schools and old people.

      • Hope
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Jacob Rees-Mogg highlighted the true colours of Cameron and Co this week when he argued against the £18 million pounds for pro EU propaganda, Cameron said he would not advocate closer union but this does exactly that with taxpayers’ money. Minister for Culture media Sports has either gone AWOL or a rebel or Cameron, once again, says one thing and acts in stark contrast. Taxpayers money should not be used to promote closer union in the EU. Is this ge sort of negotiation we can expect from Cameron!

    • zorro
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      If Parliament was a Star Wars allegory, JR would be the Obi Wan Kenobi of the Tory Jedi fighting against the Empire Tory establishment….. At least I didn’t call John the Yoda….. hmmm too rebellious he is…..

      zorro

    • bigneil
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      “seems to be totally contemptuous of the public” – ?? seems? – –
      when the vast majority don’t want HS2 -but DC is hell bent on it – –
      when no one wanted the doors wide open to Bulgaria/Romania – – but DC was hell bent on it
      more and more calling to be OUT of the EU —-but DC is hell bent on it
      etc etc

      does DC stand for Definitely Contemptuous – -or Dictatorship Commencing?

      Reply Your allegations about DC are false. He does not hold the views you describe.

  2. David
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    This week, the party has been pushing online posts saying that we mustn’t let Labour back in.

    I agree.

    If only people like Mr Raab did as well.

    • Arschloch
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Erm can you tell me why? As far as I am concerned all we have now is a continuity Nu Labour government e.g. still deficit spending with any reduction target blown way off course, wide open borders with a benefits system that attracts like a pot of honey etc. Why should anyone want to rally around a weak and ineffectual loser like Cameron? Mr Raab is rightly more concerned about the state’s primary function of protecting the individual, rather than keeping somebody in a job who just likes the trappings of office and cannot come up with anything more than the vapid concept of a “big society”

      Reply The government is continuing a deficit reduction programme which will eliminate the entire deficit before the end of the next Parliament. The measures already taken and the latest Immigration Bill will result in fewer inward migrants.

      • David
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Tilting at windmills suggests that the only individual Mr Raab is concerned with is himself.

        The election of Mr Miliband as PM will be far worse than continuing with the current government (even as a coalition). Were Mr Raab actually going after issues that could get results that would be one thing, but he and others like him are going on issues that they know will be defeated (by at least Labour and the Liberal Democrats) with the only result being the Tories are seen negatively by the electorate.

        Reply I do not think Mr Raab’s amendment will make any difference to the opinion polls.

        • David Price
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          That is not the only result, deeds mean more than words and it has clarified yet again where true interests of Labour and the LibDems lie.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Comment on Reply–I continue to deprecate your use of “inward migrants” instead of the plain English “immigrants”

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          I am not so sure. Immigrant in its singular and emigrant in its singular traditionally implied something more lasting. Today however there is a free flow of migrants from country to country who spend a few months in one domicile then move to another.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          JR is perfectly correct in his terminology. It is you who is incorrect. ‘Immigrant’ is used in a faintly perjorative way and is a throwback to the 1950’s, 1960’s and 70’s and is used to describe someone coming to the UK and has every intention to remain in the UK. ‘Inward migrant’ is someone who may be reside here legally there is work available.

          I prefer the word ‘mobility worker’ as used by the Rumanian ambassador to the UK.

          It is UKIP’ s oldest and most successful and the most despicable tactic to use the word ‘immigrant’ to conveniently group together all those coming to Britain.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Sorry. Sentence should read ‘Inward migrant’ is someone who may reside and work here legally. Apologies.

        • Alan Wheatley
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          I know that English is a living language, and that the meaning of words can change; “gay” being the most blatant example in my lifetime. The problem with changes of meaning is difficulty of understanding, and with it difficulty of communication.

          New and imaginative uses can be an enhancing feature of fiction, but when it comes to matters of fact, especially relating to public policy, I think words should only be used with their well established and widely understood meaning.

          I leave it to those in the “migration debate” to consult their own dictionaries to see how well they have done.

          Oh, and buy the way, what do you think “British” means?

      • ian wragg
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        We have already back tracked on the initial deficit reduction and I bet it won’t be in surplus by 2020. Anyway as I keep saying with the Horlicks you have made of immigration, EU, ECJ, ECHR etc etc you are destined for a long spell in opposition.

    • David Price
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      I think the need is to let neither Labour nor the LibDems back in. This requires the Conservative Party leadership to start leading as Conservatives and not as LibDems. However, it appears that leadership has been coming far more from the backbenches.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Jon Snow’s comments on last night’s Channel 4 News were especially ridiculous

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      But we forgive him as he so attractive.

      • APL
        Posted February 1, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        margaret brandreth-j: “But we forgive him as he so attractive.”

        Which is of course, the reason so many women voted for Blair.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          And quite possibly, David Cameron too!

          • bigneil
            Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            and can I finish this with “if I was in politics – on this voting basis – I wouldn’t get a vote – -babies start crying when they see me !

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Nah… just having fun being overtly superficial .x

  4. alan jutson
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    One thing we are not short of in the HOC are Mp’s with some sort of legal experience.

    Surely if Mp’s were going to vote on thoughts of legality, this should have been cleared up before the debate even started, with a simple statement from the Governments Legal spokesman.

    I know little of parliamentary proceedure, but this in my view has all the hallmarks of mismanagement, political opportunism, and lack of leadership.

    So sad when we have such important things to debate.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      It could have been cleared up by the government stating that our Parliament is still sovereign, and if MPs wish to legislate contrary to any international treaty then they are free to do that and there can be no question of it being “illegal”; except of course that like its predecessors over recent decades this government does not really believe in the sovereignty of our Parliament and the people it is supposed to represent.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Who can be sure what the outcome in the European Courts would have been? Well history tends to suggest it would go against the UK government regardless of the merits of the case as it nearly always seems too.

    Court cases are often decided on things that have nothing to do with the merits of the case as we see Yesterday ( named case removed as I suspect the court thought it had examined the merits of the case ed).

    I see hugely unimpressive transport secretary is suppressing the damning report into HS2 with same veto that kept Iraq war papers secret. So we pay a vast sum for a report then are not allowed to see it. Not that we need to, the project is very clearly bonkers in economic and environmental terms. This is surely clear to anyone sensible, numerate and honest who looks at it for an hour or two. Hopefully Balls will kill it in 2015.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10518484/The-scathing-HS2-report-ministers-want-to-hide.html

    • Arschloch
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Tell the ECHR to get stuffed! Why are we taking lessons on human rights from places like Azerbaijan? Apart from not being in Europe, the liberal elite needs to read a few reports from Amnesty, HR Watch et al on human rights there at the minute. Apart from that the “new democracies” in Eastern Europe have sent a cohort of judges, who prior to 1990 you had no chance of getting a fair trial in front of. For those who say the UK has to obey the law, remember if your ancestors obeyed the law and accepted the status quo, you would not have the vote and your wife and kids would be still working down the mines. Sometimes you just have to wake up and realise the law is completely unjust.

      • David
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        “Why are we taking lessons on human rights from places like Azerbaijan?”

        We aren’t. The latter is taking lessons from us. After all, we were instrumental in setting up the ECHR and its principles.

        • Arschloch
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          Because places like Azerbaijan have a seat on the court. Also the Eastern European judges have an defined interest in keeping the UKs borders wide open i.e. the UK acts as a receptacle for their surplus labour and the criminals that they would rather not to have at home

          • ian wragg
            Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

            Well said.

          • bigneil
            Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            not forgetting that while here it is US that is paying for them – and suffering the results of their criminality.

            only to put them in conditions (our jail) probably better than what they came from in their own country.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Not me; I wasn’t instrumental in that because then I was hardly old enough to be in primary school, let alone in the House of Commons carelessly agreeing that henceforth for all time all my successors in our supposedly sovereign national Parliament would have to abide by each and every decision made by some bunch of lawyers on the continent, no matter how crackpot the decision, and if they dared to propose legislation which the British people wanted but which went against that then their proposal would be “illegal”.

        • David Price
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          I can understand that that has made the CV’s of a few lawyers, civil servants and politicians look wonderful, but what exactly has the benefit been to the UK?

          It has not made this country safer, if anything the reverse.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      The fact that the report is being locked away should speak volumes.

      How can this simple report be locked away John, surely it cannot be on the grounds of Governnment security, National security, Terrorist risk, State secrets.

      Could it be that it simply outlines that the project would be an absolute financial failure, and thus would embarrass present government thinking and posturing.

      So much for transparent and open Government.

      This does not bode well for the EU referendum arguments yet to come does it.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I assume President Hollonde and Cameron will get on well today being both pro EU, top down government, tax borrow and waste, fake green, over regulate socialists.

      At least Cameron is not quite as bad and Hollonde.

      Hollonde is also doing wonders for West London property values good news for me, I hope he enjoys his richly deserved warm pint (still for now) of bitter.

      Clegg even said, amazingly, that he did not want to ban smoking in cars too. A liberal policy from him for once! Does his wife agree?

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        I would be happy to buy Hollonde some pork scratchings to go with his pint of bitter in gratitude. Perhaps even a pickled egg.

        Could someone please explain the difference between a millionaire and someone who earns a million a year to Labour.

        This as most of their MPs seem to be too dim or perhaps just dishonest to draw the distinction.

        As in the nonsense statement “a tax cut of £100K PA for millionaires”.

        Can Cameron now tell us when he will cut the top rate to 40% and when he will de-rat on his IHT promise and when he will condecend to tell us what powers he wants back.

        Not that he will be in a position too very soon.

      • The PrangWizard
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        If the dangerous authoritarians get their way on banning smoking in cars, they will turn their attention to banning smoking in homes, how could they not? It is not ridiculous, there is no stopping these fanatics. Parents will be accused of child abuse. And then the social workers will call.

        • bigneil
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          would there be age limits to this? -some parents are ok with their 16 yr olds smoking –

          if the parents are say 40 and the “children ” are 16 – what then?

          or what if the above situation was that the non smoking parent was driving – -and the “child” was smoking while being chauffeured about?

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Actually I thought there was almost open dislike between them. What on earth must the French president think? He is surrounded by Conservatives leaders of member states all of whom believe in the EU. He is a Socialist who believes in the EU. He meets yet another Conservative who says he believes in the EU who in turn is surrounded by his fellow MP’s who don’t. He must go home tonight somewhat perplexed. After this his private life must seem like a doddle.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Who can be sure what the outcome in the European Courts would have been?

      Well you could look at their rulings in similar cases. Given these tend to disapprove of countries that curtail people’s human rights for no good reason it’s unlikely they would side with the UK.

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    JR: ” Mr Raab’s amendment was decided by a free vote on the Coalition side,”
    I have not seen this reported anywhere. I understood that Cameron instructed all Conservatives ministers to abstain and that LibDem ministers voted with their own side and the majority of Labour MPs against. I don’t know how you say that: “Coalition Ministers abstained”. There has been some very odd coverage indeed!
    The point is that this amendment (which did have some Labour support) was lost because it was not supported by your government colleagues. You may continue to trust Cameron in the face of reality but please don’t expect us to follow.

  7. me
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I read that tory government mps abstained but libdem government mps voted against, is that wrong?

  8. Atlas
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I like it when the idea that our Parliament cannot change our laws passes without much comment!

    I’m slowly concluding that Democracy only merits “One Cheer” – ie not even Sir Winston’s “Two cheers”.

  9. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    There is no way that any European court would accept a law containing Mr Raab’s amendment. He and his supporters are directly challenging the supremacy of European Law. Good for them; let’s have many more such challenges.

    A backbench attempt to repeal our Act of Accession to the Lisbon ‘Treaty’ should be high on the list. Such ‘rebels’ could cite the rejection of this European Constitution by the French and Dutch electorates. Never forget that Mrs Merkel boasted publicly that the Lisbon ‘Treaty’ was the rejected constitution in a new wrapper.

  10. Roger Farmer
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Possibly the most important subject of the moment to the electorate is the obscenity of allowing serious criminals of European origin the right to continue life in the UK after completing their sentence. I would add their freedom to (commit crimes again in the UK ed).
    Voting to end this in the HOC and putting it to the test in Europe would, I would have thought , been paramount in the minds of all MPs.
    While I applaud the 100 MPs who voted for the Raab amendment, I am incredulous that the rest should vacillate, in the case of Cameron and his gravy train supporters, or be so contemptuous of the electorate as to vote it down. Frankly our political and media elite disgust me.
    I only hope that the electorate, who are the victims of MPs contempt, register their disgust in May 2014 and in the General Election a year later.

  11. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I have given up hope that it will ever be easier to deport foreign criminals from the UK. I respect those who voted for this amendment. Unfortunately the two MP s from my area did not.

  12. Old Albion
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The vast majority of the public would support Mr Raab’s amendment. The majority of MP’s in Westminster prefer to support ‘playing politics’ and damn what’s best for the country.
    And there you have the whole problem of a two (three) party adversarial parliament

  13. Richard1
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    If this analysis is correct – that it was no rebellion – then the Conservatives need to get their ducks in a row. Yesterday Michael Howard was on the radio arguing against Mr Raab’s amendment on the grounds the Govt’s bill was a more effective way of achieving the desired end. But Michael Howard also said Conservatives need to show a united front ahead of the election. So he at least seems to see this as a rebellion of sorts, and a damaging one. Presumably he was put up to this by the party leadership.

    I’ve no idea who is right in this. Of course the vast majority of people want to be able to chuck out foreign criminals (though maybe not Labour and LibDem politicians). But let’s not hand needless perceived victories to Labour. The electoral odds are stacked enough in their favour as it is now the boundary changes haven’t happened.

    Reply I can assure you it was a free vote with the Conservative Ministers whipped to abstain. Lord Howard was badly informed.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      How can it be described as a “free vote” when “Conservative Ministers were whipped to abstain”?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Interesting, we certainly didn’t hear that on the BBC!

  14. Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    References to Nero fiddling while Rome burns seem most appropriate to the current state of politics in this country.

    Is there no-one in the House of Commons who is aware of the destruction of English values and liberties which flow from the unlawful membership of the European union by this country, who also has the integrity and backbone to DO something about it, rather than just talk.

    So-called Eurosceptics may make all the right noises, make witty allusions to Crete, add an individual vote for a cause which they know cannot succeed in a Division, but pull back from demonstrating the courage of their convictions by leaving the ‘comfort blanket’ of their Party, which continues the destruction of those things they say that they hold dear.

    There are risks involved! Such action might mean political anonymity in the future, but it could also mean being at the forefront of a change which many in the nation are longing to see and which many may soon be demanding.

    There is a saying that some people open their mouths only to put their feet in. I would like to see those with convictions opening their mouths in debate and then putting their feet forward in moves to show they mean what they say!

    John Wrake.

    Reply I was elected as a Conservative so will keep my word and serve as a Conservative. That does not mean I lack courage on issues that matter to my constituents.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–I for one take the view that you were elected as you, not as a Conservative; and, without prejudice to that, it is the Party that has left you, not, as once hoped by many, including me, the other way round. If memory serves, it was not so long ago that Party labels were not allowed against names on the Ballot Paper.

      • Bob
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        That’s quite right Leslie. If the party were to take a wrong turn (as some think they already have) would Mr Redwood blindly follow them, or would he become an independent, or join a political party that shared his values?

        I don’t think unconditional loyalty is a virtue.

        Reply I am loyal to my electors, who elected me as a Conservative with a set of views and a programme I put to them in my Manifesto. I intend to speak and vote for those policies and values .

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Until 1969.

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmhaff/768/76809.htm

        “Under the Representation of the People Act 1948, it was specified that “The description shall not refer to the candidate’s political activities”, thereby preventing the inclusion of party affiliations. [284] However, this restriction was removed by the Representation of the People Act 1969 …”

    • bigneil
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      2nd para – -YES followed by NO there isn’t.

    • APL
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      JR: “I was elected as a Conservative so will keep my word and serve as a Conservative. ”

      Firstly. It’s not your Conservative policies we object to, in fact we’d actually like more some.

      What we [ OK, I ] object to is your constant apologia to the Tory party, somehow; our membership of the EU, the continious attack on British values, the silent constitutional revolution this last 40 years has been conducted without the Tory party’s knowledge, participation or assistance. It seems to be a mystery to you, how it happened.

      No, in fact it is all the Labour parties fault. An equally fatious assertion if it came from the village idiot, when it comes from a man who we know thinks about these things in some depth, you just undermine your own credibility.

      Secondly, the voters of Wokingham can have the excellent conservative representation outside of the restraints of the Tory party, an MP can be still be Conservative but not affiliated to the Tory party.

  15. Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    My comments on courage and integrity are not solely addressed to you, as I hoped that my reference to Crete might indicate. I expect that others in the Commons read your blog.

    However, I would think that the destruction of English values and liberties are as much a concern for the electors of Wokingham as they are to electors in every constituency in the Country.

    What concerns me in your reply is the clear indication that you put loyalty to the Conservative Party above the loyalty to the principles which you enunciate in debate in the House of Commons and in your postings here, about our relationship with the E.U.

    John Wrake.

    Reply I put loyalty to my constituency and country before loyalty to party, which is why I sometimes vote against the party whip on EU matters.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      reply to reply

      I congratulate you for doing that john

  16. Bob
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    It will do no good to deport foreign criminals – we just need more prisons and longer sentences.

    • Bob
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      And the prison food budget per head should be half of the NHS equivalent based on a vegetarian diet, with porridge for breakfast (made with water – no milk).

    • APL
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Bob: “It will do no good to deport foreign criminals ”

      Something like 20% of the prison population in the UK is foreign nationals. Getting rid of them would ease our prison overpopulation problem.

      On the other hand, with the open borders policy the UK political class is practicing, they will just return back.

      Not so long ago there was a case where a judge had ordered the deportation of a crim, only to find him back in the dock six months later.

      • Bob
        Posted February 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        @APL

        with the open borders policy the UK political class is practicing, they will just return back.

        My point exactly. If the policy was to deport them it would encourage more foreign criminals, because the worst thing that can happen is that you’re sent home.

  17. Edward2
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Soveriegn nations like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore etc etc all have the ability to expel people if their conduct is deemed to be not beneficial to their country.
    You may be expelled if you are convicted of a criminal offence or are convicted of being a terrorist or simply not allowed a visa to enter in the first place if you have a criminal record.
    Someone I know had to apply for a special visa after a lengthy interview from the London USA embassy to enter the USA just for a Florida holiday, because of a very minor offence committed several decades before.
    In this country we used to have these same powers and it is a stark reminder just how many of our powers we have given away in comparison to many other successful democratic countries who still manage to respect human rights

    • uanime5
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Soveriegn nations like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore etc etc all have the ability to expel people if their conduct is deemed to be not beneficial to their country.

      All the countries you listed have a process they have to follow before they can expel people. The UK also has a process they need to follow.

      You may be expelled if you are convicted of a criminal offence or are convicted of being a terrorist or simply not allowed a visa to enter in the first place if you have a criminal record.

      Care to cite some laws from the countries you mentioned to back up these claims.

      In this country we used to have these same powers and it is a stark reminder just how many of our powers we have given away in comparison to many other successful democratic countries who still manage to respect human rights

      Care to name some of the non-EU successful democratic countries which have the deportation powers you want and still manage to respect human rights. Countries that deport people to countries where they’re likely to be killed or tortured don’t count.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Uni
        “All the countries you listed have a process they have to follow before they can expel people. The UK also has a process they need to follow”
        The big difference you have failed to mention is that we cannot make that decision for ourselves like other countries can because of the power the EU has over us to intervene.

        “Care to cite some laws from the countries you mentioned to back up these claims”
        They have the ability to expel back to their own countries people who break their laws, look it up yourself, I am not your unpaid researcher.

        “Care to name some of the non-EU successful democratic countries which have the deportation powers you want and still manage to respect human rights.”
        I named them in my first post did you not read it in your haste to fire off a knee jerk reactive post?

    • Bazman
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      He wasn’t deported just not given a visa. Anyone who lives outside the EU can be denied a visa and a Russian visiting Germany will still need a visa to enter the UK as in my wifes case this was denied as she had been declined previously in Russia for an unspecified reason. Lots of visa problems for Non EU citizens. Belarus is a povert stricken dictatorship is right in the centre of Europe and the problem visiting there due to diplomatic spats are many usually resulting in more fees for all. Absolute scandal that the EU does nothing about this country.

  18. David Hope
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    All the media went on about this being disastrous tory splits, damaging, party at war etc.

    But I think the media is out of touch on this issue. I doubt many ordinary people see anything controversial about wanting the right to deport criminals!

  19. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Then what do we do in that state of null deficit start cutting back more to reduce the debt?
    Someone by he side of me this am said ” I didn’t realize that MP’s had to pay for a vote.” Does irony bite ever? Free votes for all?!

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    “Labour opposed it on the grounds that it would be illegal.”

    Yes, because ministers told them that it would be illegal, as reported here:

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/01/breaking-labour-to-vote-against-raab-amendment/

    “There had been a moment where they would abstain, but now the party has decided that as the government itself as said it is illegal and would be counterproductive, it cannot do anything other than vote it down.”

    “To summarise, the opposition is voting down something because they’ve been told it’s illegal by a government that’s not voting it down. Which makes sense.”

    It boils down to most of the MPs we have elected to Parliament not being committed to the sovereignty of Parliament, including Mrs May and the other ministers, and clearly we should stop voting for such people to become our representatives.

  21. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    The House of Lords has just talked out James Wharton’s Referendum Bill. No doubt Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband put them up to it. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. Therefore, we should reflect and quietly implement one or more of the following measures:

    (1) Expel Lords Heseltine, Howe, Hurd and their ilk from the Conservative Party.
    (2) Ask Her Majesty to appoint 500 Eurosceptic Life Peers.
    (3) Convert the House of Lords into a Senate and give Conservative support to UKIP in every Senate seat.
    (4) Abolish the House of Lords.

  22. Posted January 31, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, Your reply “I put loyalty to my constituency and country before loyalty to party, which is why I sometimes vote against the party whip on EU matters.” puts my anxieties in a nutshell.

    By loyalty to your constituency, do you not really mean loyalty to the local Conservative Party which helped your election campaign and those Conservative voters who voted for you. Is that not simply Party loyalty in another sphere.

    The Conservative Party in the Commons have clearly shown that Euroscepticism is a minority view, and your leader has openly said that he wishes this country to remain a member and will so vote in any In/Out referendum.

    Do you really believe that occasionally voting against the party whip on EU matters is the sum total of effort to restore this country’s sovereignty of which you are capable?

    I find that reply pathetic in the extreme, for it smacks of that appeasement which has done so much damage in the past.

    John Wrake

    Reply As I have written many of the books and articles which give Eurosceptics the information to be Eurosceptics, and have made many speeches setting out the case, I find your comments insulting.

  23. Stevie
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    John, Ann McIntosh MP for Thirsk and Malton was deselected by her anti female constituency party today is it possible that PM Cameron could be deselected by his constituency party? Or is that just wishful thinking? I wonder how many votes he would get as an independent; very few I would expect.

    Reply No I do not expect Mr Cameron to be deselected.

  24. uanime5
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    They were joined by Liberal Democrat MPs. Mr Raab, a lawyer, had a different view and argued that it would not be illegal under the European Human Rights Convention. Had it been passed – and had it also passed the Lords – it might have been tested in court.

    This amendment would have prevented foreign criminals using article 8 (right to family life) of the ECHR to prevent themselves being deported. There was no prospect of this ever being declared legal because the ECtHR has repeatedly ruled that everyone had the right to family life; including criminals, foreigners, and foreign criminals. This amendment was little more than an attempt to appeal to Conservative voters before an election, rather than to improve the legal system.

    Many MPs voting for the amendment, which would have made it easier to deport serious criminals from the UK, felt that anyway Parliament ought to have the power to be able to change the law in these important matters, and that this needed to be re-established by Statute law.

    Trying to remove people’s human rights to make them easier to deport is a clear abuse of power by the state. All these MPs have done is shown the British people need the EU and the ECtHR to protect themselves from arrogant MPs.

    • bigneil
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      right to family life – ok – -why has it got to be HERE ??? – -why does it have to be at OUR expense ??? – -why should we be at further risk when the foreign murderers are released into their “never ending” free everything existence on benefits (our taxes). – as I have said before – this country is – come to England – -commit crime – claim asylum – -and get a free life – no work, no danger of losing the roof over your head, free NHS, free money, – – -they are being REWARDED for coming here and committing murders and sexual assault – and the families of the victim have to carry on – knowing their taxes are keeping the criminal nice and warm and fed with culturally sensitive food.

  25. Posted February 1, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I am sorry to hear that you find my comments insulting. They have not been made to insult you, but to ask you and those of a similar mind to be consistent.

    Many people have spoken and written about the case for the Eurosceptic view and I include myself. But comparatively few people are in a position to do more than talk about it.

    As a Member of Parliament, you have powers denied to many of us who agree with what you have written and talked about, but our contribution to the restoration of British sovereignty is very limited. If I am to remain a peaceful protester at the misbehaviour of Governments, my actual power is limited to casting a vote at a General Election, provided there is a candidate who I feel able to support. The rules on General Elections have been changed to ensure that such an opportunity only exists once every five years.

    With all three major Parties committed to continuing membership of the E.U. the scales are heavily weighted against a change.

    On the other hand, your opinion on the matter, as an ex-Minister in a previous administration, has weight denied to most of us, but you are not consistent. Your opposition to pro-E.U. legislation is confined to individual votes without hope of success and your speeches are nullified by your continued loyalty to a Party and a leader opposed to your views.

    Have you not recognised that it is possible to be guilty by association?

    If you find these comments insulting, you have entirely missed the point. I do not attack you. I attack the failure to carry through your beliefs effectively.

    John Wrake.

    Repyl You do attack me and imply I either do not want to restore Parliamentary sovereignty or am inco0mpetent in trying to do so. I and like minded colleagues have tried may routes to do so, but so far have been blocked at every turn by the Lib/Lab/Nationalist federalist majority of the last 16 years.

    • APL
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      JR: “the Lib/Lab/Nationalist federalist”

      Spot the missing guilty party.

  26. Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    What I have repeatedly written is that the methods which you have employed to achieve your aim to restore the sovereignty of the nation to its rightful owners are unsuccessful and must continue to be so.

    Einstein has been quoted as saying that to repeat an unsuccessful experiment again and again in the hope of a different outcome is a mark of insanity.

    What I continue to suggest is that you and likeminded colleagues have not taken that step which is likely to make radical changes to the thinking of large numbers of M.P.s who have merely followed the party line so far.

    Were you to resign the party whip on the issue and continue in your seat as an Independent, you would be sending a powerful message to others in the House and to many outside that not all those with traditional Conservative values are willing to accept what has been done, ostensibly in their name, is acceptable.

    This is a route which Eurosceptics of any colour have not yet attempted. It carries a risk that should their Party succeed in future elections, their views will be ignored. But, if Eurosceptics do not achieve the changes which will restore sovereignty to this country, the views of Westminster M.P.s of every description become increasingly irrelevant.

    John Wrake.

    Reply One of my former colleagues resigned from the Conservatives, joined UKIP and then lost his seat. How did that help?

  27. Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Reply to reply at 4.32 on 1 Feb.:

    You and I know that this is not a comparable case, given current fear of UKIP influence.

    when you have a free moment to yourself, read again from the Bible 1 Kings chapter 19 from verse 10.

    John Wrake.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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