British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell the European Union he is not prepared to tie Britain the human rights laws on the continent after it has become an independent country. Do you think the Prime Minister is right to reject the bloc’s demands? Vote below in our poll.
Brexit negotiators led by David Frost will head to Brussels on Monday to formally kick off talks with the Europeans as the countdown to the end of the transition period begins. Mr Johnson has instructed his team to reject the EU’s demands for Britain to remain bound by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), The Sunday Telegraph reports. No10 adviser Dominic Cummings has been an outspoken critic of the international convention which was signed after the Second World War.
The treaty is signed by 47 states who are members of the Council of Europe, not to be confused with the EU.
The convention signed after the Second World War consists of a number of articles protecting basic human rights.
Judgements of the court based in Strasbourg legally bind countries to stand by its rulings.
Mr Johnson’s cabinet is said to be split over the planned move.
Some ministers have made their opposition to the ECHR clear while others are reportedly strongly in favour of the country staying bound to the set of laws
France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian last month set a fiery tone for the talks when he predicted both sides would “rip each other apart”.
When questioned about her colleagues’ choice of words, France’s Europe minister Amelie de Montchalin put it down to a matter of passions running high.
She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “It think we are entering a new phase of Brexit.
“We have known a lot of drama, a lot of passion, a lot of emotion because politicians were speaking to politicians.
“I think now we are entering the ‘real people negotiation’ – the one for business, for farmers, for fishermen, for companies, for the real issues the concern people on both sides of the Channel, being them European or British.”
Ms de Montchalin, appointed by President Macron last year, struck a calmer tone when predicting how the talks would play out.
She said: “This is not a battle. This is very serious.
“This is a moment when we need economic rationality.
“It’s not a moment where if British lose French or Europeans will win.
At the end we need to protect our citizens, we need to protect our businesses.
“We need to be, as politicians, able to look the people that voted for use in the eyes and say very calmly ‘we protected you, we protected your interests, we protected your way on leaving and move forward.’”
The Prime Minister has ruled out any extension to the Brexit transition period, which expires on December 31.
Ms de Montchalin said while she believed it was possible to meet the deadline, she warned Brussels would not be pushed into signing something for the sake of it.
She said negotiators would not do a trade-off of “substance for calendar”.
She added: “We will not sign, for the sake of having a deal, the deal that we manage to have, at 11pm on December 31. It would make no sense.”
Last week Mr Johnson said he would walk away from the negotiations in June if enough progress had not been made.