The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Launch of Bruges Group paper Free Speech: The EU Version

The EU Constitution is not just a matter of EU governance and democracy. It will also restrict human rights. Article 54 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 5 in the draft Constitution, can be used as an illiberal and authoritarian tool to underpin the European State, even at the expense of free speech.

It is a threat to freedom, in particular freedom of speech, because it lists subjects that EU citizens have no right to question. The Charter enshrines in law soft-social democracy that can not be challenged by ‘any act or any activity’. Thus ending democracy in Europe, by excluding alternative policies.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights will also undermine the European Court of Human Rights giving too much power to the interventionist European Court of Justice, which will use human rights issues for it’s own political purposes.

Oliver Letwin describes the paper as “seminal” and says to those that think its concerns alarmist that, “history is on his [the author’s] side, not theirs.” He argues that the Charter and Constitution will lead to a “United States of Europe”. And that, “before the people of this country find that centuries of independence are finally abandoned… they should at least have the chance to debate [in a referendum] whether they want it to happen to them.”

As Article 54 threatens fundamental liberties, the British people must have their chance to debate this in a referendum and have their say while free speech still exists. Otherwise we will be forced into a unitary EU state where human rights and freedoms that we take for granted do not apply.

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– NOTES TO EDITORS –
Bruges Group representatives are available for interviews and quotes