On Thursday 11th May, I attended a joint-hearing of three Committees in Brussels. The Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs, Petitions and Employment and Social Affairs, Committees.
I spend over three hours listening to various assorted Europhiles, Remainers, Remoaners, and Quislings, discussing ways in which they can make sure Brexit does not mean Exit, or actually reverse the decision of the Referendum.
One issue I raised, by the Remainers, and by me, was the issue that is a time-bomb waiting to go off under Brexit – which is that of ‘vested rights’ of EU citizens.
As long ago as 1963 the European Court of Justice decreed that, “The Community constitutes a new legal order”…and that…“community law not only imposes obligations on individuals…but also is intended to confer upon them rights which become part of their legal heritage”.
What this means in plain English is that even when we leave EU citizens can continue to claim the same rights in the UK that they had before we left.
Indeed, Guy Verhofstadt said to the Committees that EU citizens should continue to enjoy rights for the rest of their lives, e.g. to use the NHS, the education system, the benefits and public housing system etc. Even if they were “economically inactive”.
So the British tax payer will be expected to provide social services for every EU citizen that cares to turn up to claim them even after we have left the EU.
Lawyers will no doubt argue that these rights should be enjoyed by every EU citizen born up to the date Mrs May signs the fabled Withdrawal Agreement (some time in mid-2019 if we are lucky).
The issue of Vested Rights is not something Mrs May wants to discuss, and our media have not picked up on it yet.
Vested Rights are indeed a time-bomb under Brexit waiting to go off.
This issue encapsulates exactly why we cannot hope to negotiate our way out of the EU using Article 50, and exactly why our Government should seize the initiative by repealing the European Communities Act (1972) – leave the EU and then tell the EU how it is going to work, not ask them how it might be done.
After three hours of listening to this nonsense, I was given two minutes to speak. I was, up to that point, the only speaker from the Brexit side of the argument. I had some serious questions to ask, and points to make, but before I could finish my points my microphone was cut off.
At that point, I lost my cool. For thirteen years I have stuck to my meagre 60 seconds speaking time in Parliament’s so-called debates, but on this important occasion I was stopped from going a little over time. At that point, I told them what I thought and left the meeting.
Here is my contribution:
(First published at Gerard Batten’s websiteGerard Batten’s website)