One little recognised outcome of the proposed Conservative withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights is that the European Commission may suspend the UK’s voting rights at EU level.
This would make UK withdrawal from the EU almost an inevitability.
EU member states have an “explicit obligation” to the convention under the EU treaty rules. Should a Conservative-led government decide to scrap it, the commission could invoke article seven of the treaties.
This is commonly referred to as the “nuclear option” of the commission’s enforcement arsenal and could lead to the suspension of a member state’s voting rights.
Conservative threats to withdraw are a tawdry attempt to attract Ukip voters in the lead up to the general election and possible referendum to leave the EU.
The truth of the matter is that very few cases rule against the UK and it wins most of the cases brought against it.
Last year, the court dealt with 1,652 applications concerning the UK – 1,633 or 98.8 per cent were declared inadmissible or struck out.
Only in eight cases – or 0.4 per cent – did the court find at least one violation of convention rights. From being among the first to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950, it is saddening to see this body being used as a political football by the Conservatives as they continue their relentless lurch to the right.