Big Majority For Human Rights Opt-out Over Terror Threat

There is overwhelming public support for a much tougher line to be taken against terrorists and suspected terrorists including withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights reveals a new poll out today.

A YouGov poll conducted on behalf of think-tank MigrationWatch showed that, when asked if the UK should renounce its membership of the Convention in order to have greater powers to deal with suspected and convicted terrorists, 61% agreed. Just 26% supported the proposition that Britain should remain a member of the Human Rights Convention, and not reduce human rights in response to the terrorist threat.

There was even greater support for the proposal that, having withdrawn, we should issue a warning and then deport convicted terrorists without further appeal – even to countries where they might face torture, with 67% in favour and 18% against. This view was held fairly uniformly across the UK and within different social groups, although the opposition to it among younger people was in the mid-20’s.

When asked if Britain should have, and use, the right to deport foreigners suspected by the intelligence services, even if there is not enough court room evidence to bring them to trial, and they might be sent to countries where they could be tortured, 55% said we should while 26% were opposed.

There was a stronger response when asked whether Britain should have, and use, the right to imprison foreign terrorist suspects for as long as the authorities’ judge necessary, unless they choose to return to their home countries, with a massive 75% supporting the proposition and just 13% opposed.

‘These results demonstrate that the British people are tired of seeing the interests of those intent on destroying our way of life being put before the safety of themselves and their families,’ said Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch.

‘Most people find it totally incomprehensible that convicted terrorists are able to remain in Britain after they have completed their prison sentences. Our continued membership also means we have lost the ability to remove people from this country even when there is good intelligence that their presence here is a real or potential risk to public safety.

‘We accept that the ECHR was right for the time in which it was created, 50 years ago, but we are now in an entirely new situation and the public clearly believe that it is time that this new reality was recognised – and acted upon,’ he said.

23rd July 2007 - European Union, Human Rights, Legal Matters, Terrorism

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