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  • Writer's pictureJack McClelland

Repeal the EU Beans on Weetabix Act

Ever wanted to scrap or repeal a law that doesn’t exist? Well, now’s your chance!

In consistent fashion, Nigel Farage has again taken a path of spreading misinformation and laughable incoherence following his NHS bus stunt on the Brexit campaign. If you are a keen user of Twitter, you have probably seen ‘EU Human Rights Act’ sitting pretty at number 10 on the Trending list, therefore jumping on the trendy topics this article was born.

It is somewhat difficult to write about something that doesn’t exist, so maybe I could post a non-existent article and get away with it? That would save me some valuable time.

The video posted by Nigel Farage on Twitter called for more control of the UK’s borders and for a ‘complete’ Brexit once the country leaves the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

Now we all remember Brexit and how we voted to leave the EU, and Nigel (a former Member of the European Parliament) has potentially confused the European Union and the European Convention of Human Rights, but we are here to tell you they are not the same thing.

The ECHR is an international human rights treaty (drafted mostly by British lawyers) between 47 states who are all members of the Council of Europe- again, not the same as the EU. This treaty and its principles where then incorporated into UK legislation over 20 years ago under the UK Human Rights Act 1998, which may be causing Nigel some confusion between ‘EU’ and ‘UK’.

The video is littered with story lines and second-hand information supplied to Nigel regarding asylum seekers (or ‘van loads of people’) and how they dare enter the UK to find safety for themselves and their families.

“I’m hearing reports of van loads of people [who] are coming into the UK 10-12 at a time... Quite why these numbers are coming now - I haven’t got the bottom of. But it does point to me the ‘laxitude’ of the whole thing.”

Again, confusion has led to the sharing of disinformation, as asylum seekers under international law (nothing related to membership of the EU) are entitled to enter a country by any means. Nigel would make you believe this is a result of laws forced upon the UK due to their previous membership of the EU, which has allowed illegal immigrants to avoid deportation because they had a pet cat.

It seems, however, that history is changing to suit a particular narrative- that the UK was bullied into accepting those fleeing danger, as it was actually a UK High Court which set the precedent in case law that an asylum seeker may cross a number of countries until they reach one that they feel safe in.

Last but not least, Nigel made sure to note that those ‘bad people’, whose rights are inferior to those of ‘good people’, are now complaining that their accommodation puts their lives at risk during a global pandemic.

Despite Public Health England warning the Home Office that the Napier Barracks were unsuitable, hundreds of refugees have been placed there since September. This has resulted in over 100 people testing positive for Coronavirus in January 2021, with asylum seekers feeling powerless, with no way of protecting themselves.

Nigel, however, paints a picture that asylum seekers are striding off a cruise ship, suitcase in hand, straight into court to argue that the 5-Star hotel isn’t up to their standard.

“It almost beggars belief, these people [that] came here illegally by boat have gone to court this morning [and] their argument is... their conditions aren’t up to scratch with the European Convention of Human Rights.” – Just to note this is NOT illegal, contrary to what Nigel, Priti Patel and the Conservative Government tell you.

Although this video is nothing but a desperate attempt for attention, it is important that this kind of misinformation is contested so we do not end up with another Brexit bus scandal.

Special mention to Keith Burge Managing Director of ERS for Tweet of the Day, which not only made it into this article, but also the Evening Standard.

“As soon as Nigel Farage has scrapped the EU Human Rights Act he intends to move on to repeal of the EU Beans on Weetabix Act.” - @carryonkeith

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