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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Ecrit par ACM
mercredi, 15 novembre 2017

 uk_conservative_mep_tannock_eurofora_400


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
One of EU Parliament's most Experienced Members, from UK's Governing Party of Prime Minister Theresa May, and former Long-Time Foreign Policy spokesman of its Biggest Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, currently in the Conservative Group, Charles Tannock, who is also EU Rapporteur on relations with New Zealand, due to be Debated and Voted on Thursday, (etc), Speaking to "Eurofora", observed that "BREXIT" raises Delicate Questions on the British Bases located in Cyprus :


--------------------------

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 - "Well, the Problem with Cyprus, probably, is going to be a Different one" compared to the usual BREXIT general debates, he warned from the outset.


 - "It's going to be the (2) Sovereign (UK) Bases" there, "and the (EU) Customs Union", Tannock pointed out.


- "There May be a Problem", in this regard.


- "Because they (UK Bases in Cyprus) are in the Customs Union, and they May have to Leave the Customs Union".


=>-  "And, then, it has to be a kind of Border", f.ex. "for the Trade of Goods", "including some Agricultural" fields, etc. I.e., "they will have to be in Line with Northern Ireland'"s case, he found.


 - But, curiously, until now, "Nobody Speaks about this", Tannock regretted.   


- However, just "Look at the Facts : The Bases joined the (EU) Customs Union, when Cyprus became EU Member" on 2004, (and Not when the UK itself joined the EU, Back during the 1970ies), he reminded.


  - So that, "If we (UK) Leave" the EU, then "they will have to" opt about leaving (or staying) in  the Custom Union, ...

- "If they Stay in the Customs Union, - and then it goes into British Territory, like Northern Ireland  - they have to use the Same Currency". Since "It's in the (1960) Treaty (on Cyprus' Independence) : They have to use the Same Currency", he pointed out.


- "But, this is a Serious Issue, Legally", the UK Conservative MEP stressed.


=> - Because, "if the Sovereign (UK) Bases" in Cyprus "Stay in the EU's Customs Union of the EU, as British Territory, then, you have No Argument to say that Northern Ireland cannot do the same !", he Speculated, despite the Differences.


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+ Nevertheless, EU Chief Negotiator on BREXIT, former EU Commissioner and French Minister, Michel Barnier, had recently given an a priori Positive sign to "Eurofora", as far as the overal UK - Cyprus' Negotiations on BREXIT Issues specific to the Island were concerned, on the sidelines of the Latest EU Heads of State/Government's Summit, 20 October 2017 in Brussels, by simply Smiling and making a "Thumbs-Up" gesture, as a Fast-track but Characteristic Reply to our Question about -"How are the BREXIT Negotiations going in relation with Cyprus ?", in general.


It's true, however, that we had not then even mentioned, particularly, the special case of those UK Bases per se.


-------------------------------------


++ Meanwhile, Tannock also Confirmed his Belief that, indeed, "the UK will Leave the EU on March 29", 2019, as scheduled, independently of anything else.


- There is No Chance to Stay in the EU : To be precise, the Probabilty is "Less than 5%", the Experienced, mainstream British MEP estimated, in Reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question.


 + In a rare Agreement, between Different Political Orientations, Conservative MEP Tannock's estimation matched also that  of "Green" (former "Labour") British MEP Jean Lambert :

 

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- Speaking to "Eurofora", Later-on, the Pro-"Remain" MEP Lambert acknowledged : - "I Regret that, but I Agree" (with Tannock) :


- Indeed, "he's Right : There are No more than Only 5% of Chances for the UK to Stay inside the EU" after March 2019, she bitterly admitted.

 

 

(../...)

 

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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