The Amsterdam Treaty was signed by New Labour without proper Parliamentary or public debate. It proposed new EC powers:
CONTROL NOT CO-OPERATION?
Few would object to free co-operation between national authorities in the fight against crime, but with Interpol in existence, why should another policing body be created? The answer, of course, is that it would exist for political purposes.
Although the Treaty of Amsterdam spells out national "rights", these can be set aside by other provisions in the Treaty and even taken away from the UK. Anything which is seen towards implementing a policy decision already agreed can be pushed through by majority voting (QMV)!
The small print also says that co-operation between governments should only be used as a last resort (Article 43.1). implying that they should be putting cross-European legislation in place. As the UK policing and criminal justice systems are different to those on the continent, what is more likely to change?
NO HARD EVIDENCE REQUIRED
The European Commission is already considering a legal initiative, "Corpus Juris" whereby:
Under this scheme, the judiciary both handle the investigation casework and run the trial. Says criminologist Torquil Dick-Erikson:
"This is the essence of the Inquisition and it is in fact no different from what we in Britain call the Police State... where the police decide who is guilty and send them directly to prison... if you want to get off, you have to convince the prosecutor himself, the very person who put you in the dock"
In an article in the European Journal, Dick-Erikson articulated how the Commission might use the opportunities of the Treaty to get these measures through!
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
The threat of arrest without a warrant also goes against Habeas Corpus which has been in our legal system for 300 years. Under EC proposals (Daily Mail, 29.8.97) someone accused of fraud could be held without trial for 9 months instead of 4 days under English law. (The EPP would deal with fraud cases, but what is to stop the brief being expanded for 'consistency'? Interestingly the Corpus Juris defines 'fraud' as any offence against the financial interests of the EC, and the small print makes it an offence to not co-operate with EC officials).
Under laws implementing the EC money laundering Directives, it is an offence NOT to report anything that "might be suspicious", with up to 14 years' imprisonment! Dr. Michael Levi, University of Wales believes:
"It appears... as if the foundations of the international finance-police state are being laid.
New Labour loves 'human rights' - so what protection would the 1950 (pre-EC) European Convention give? In theory, a person stands as "innocent until proven guilty"- but loopholes exist. It is watered down by a clause that permits retro-active action if what was "not a crime" might under 'generally accepted principles' be considered one - this is very woolly and subject to interpretation. As EC Law must be obeyed, there are no opt-outs here!
BIG BROTHER WATCHING YOU...
Under Directive 91/439, the first EC id cards are coming. From 1998, new and amended driving licences will have your photo and the 'EU Flag'! Tony Blair is dropping the proposed Union Jack as this will "help the Northern Ireland peace process" Any relation to "Cool Britannia" and watering down national identity is purely coincidental, of course.
The Commission's K.4 Committee responsible for Europol wants to push through plans for compiling registers of those innocent of any crime! Apparently they were so drastic that they met with strong objections - even from within the European Parliament!
But 1998 sees a new UK Data Protection law setting up an unaccountable authority that can demand to see information held in almost any 'filing system' (except 'police' or '100% personal') - incl. address books, mobile phones, cameras - not just computers. And again, guilt can be presumed in some cases!