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The greatest stimulant to economic success worldwide is individual freedom

The following letter by Christopher Gill, a former chairman of The Freedom Association, was published in the Sunday Telegraph last weekend.

"SIR – James Crisp’s report about possible compromises in the Brexit negotiations regarding the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is alarming.

"If the Boris Johnson administration thinks there can be any compromise on matters directly affecting individual liberty, it betrays the very principles it purports to uphold.

"As any lawyer worth his salt will attest, the ECHR affords the British people less protection against false accusation, arbitrary arrest and wrongful imprisonment than our own common law, simply because neither the ECHR nor any of the continental jurisdictions in its membership embodies the fundamental principles implicit in our long-established law of habeas corpus, which itself is directly negated by the EAW.

"It is wrong-headed to prioritise trade negotiations above all else when it is so clearly demonstrated that the greatest stimulant to economic success worldwide is individual freedom."

Christopher is right. Economically successful countries are successful because of individual freedom, the rule of law, and private property rights. I highly recommend the book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty written by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, which explains this in detail. 

Going back to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), in 2014, Christopher asked Jonathan Fisher QC whether the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) will significantly enlarge the circumstances in which a EAW can be issued and executed in a member State which has opted out of the EPPO project. Mr. Fisher's learned opinion is the answer to the question is yes.

This is relevant now because the EU has appointed an EPP who will take up her role in November. As we will still be in a transition period, this will affect the U.K. As Torquil Dick-Erikson, a journalist specialising comparative criminal procedure notes in this piece for the Bruges Group, "Boris might be well-advised to amend the Extradition Act 2003, which enables EAWs to be applied in the UK, before November."


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