Well, yes folks, but here\’s the lesson to draw from it

A Turkish drug trafficker sentenced to 20 years\’ imprisonment for his role in one of Britain\’s largest-ever heroin seizures cannot be deported because of an obscure European law.

OK, so why?

But his lawyers successfully overturned their efforts by mounting a lengthy series of appeals, focusing on a little-known, 30-year-old treaty between the EU and Turkey which mainly deals with import duty on fruit and vegetables.

Riiiight….

The treaty which enabled Gok win his case governs tariffs on goods between Turkey and Europe, and includes a detailed list of aubergines, watermelons, marrows and other foodstuffs covered by the agreement.

Known as \”Decision 1/80 of the Association Council of September 19, 1980\”, it also includes a number of \”social provisions\” which were the key element of the case put forward by Gok\’s solicitor.

It meas that Turkish nationals can only be denied the right to live and work in European Community states if they pose a \”specific risk of new and serious prejudice to the requirements of public policy\”.

Ah, there it is. Now, having signed up for this then of course we have to live by it. We are a country ruled by the law…the details of the law, not the spirit of it….and not by whatever laws the powers that be find convenient at any one time.

But precisely because we are a country ruled by the law we have to be very careful indede which laws we sign up for. And of course we\’re not careful. The entire European Union system militates against anyone being careful in that manner. Which is why we end up in such situations: no one properly discusses or debates these laws, we cannot reject them (new ones of this type, covering trade as it does, would be in the sole competence of the European Union anyway), essentially, we\’re stuck with whatever Brussels decides to stick us with.

Maybe heroin smugglers who have gone straight should be allowed to stay upon release, maybe they shouldn\’t.

But it is something that you\’d rather our own Parliament would have the opportunity to decide upon, wouldn\’t you?

2 thoughts on “Well, yes folks, but here\’s the lesson to draw from it”

  1. There’s a good point in here somewhere.

    It’s not a simple anti-EU issue. Countries outside the EU make boneheaded and obscure decisions all the time. An independent England, or UK or whatever, will be just as prone to inadequately supervised bureaucratic deal-making as anyone else, and parliament’s not much cop as a preventative (and has been completely useless specifically on extradition rules, quite recently). There’s no link and I can’t find this “decision”, but it’s not silly for a free-trade type agreement to have rules on kicking out each other’s nationals.

    For me the shocker is the dead-on Darkness at Noon wording – the protection is only taken away from people who pose a “specific risk of new and serious prejudice to the requirements of public policy” – ie, enemies of the people or state, but also people who plan to put out the wrong bin next Monday week. So on the one hand that’s loose and dangerous wording, that would allow an often-bad regime like, say, the Turks, to kick out anyone they want, but stop an honest London judge kicking out a drugs smuggler. And on the other, it does feel like EU drafting – it reads like a translation of something else, for one thing, a French, or Spanish, or at any rate non-common-law Anglo-Saxon or Northern European thought (enemy of the state, “the requirements of public policy”.

    So while independent UK would make as many mistakes as the EU, for sure, it wouldn’t, I think, make this one.

    (I’d rather get Brussels to fix it than get out of the EU, but there we disagree.)

  2. I note you make the comment about word of the law versus spirit of the law. I take it the ruling in favour of UKIP re the Electoral Commision will be appealed by you or UKIP on these grounds then? 😉

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