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Lawyers In For Britain: The UK and the EU: Benefits, misconceptions and alternatives banner
  • The protection of fundamental rights as a general principle of EU law was established long before the UK joined the European Communities.
  • The ECHR was recognised as a source of such rights both in the case law of the ECJ and in the Treaty on European Union agreed at Maastricht in 1991.
  • The Charter of Fundamental Rights incorporated into the TFEU is a codification of such rights.
  • The Charter does not expand the scope of EU law.
  • The protocol to the Treaty of Lisbon in respect of the UK and Poland is not an ‘opt-out’ from the Charter – it simply reinforces the fact that the Charter (unlike the ECHR) is not an instrument of general application against the Member States but only applies within the scope of EU law.