David Cameron has vowed to ignore a European Court of Justice ruling expected this week that could outlaw Britain’s blanket ban on prisoner voting. In an explosive move on the eve of Mr Cameron’s conference speech, Europe’s highest court is on Tuesday predicted to rule that automatically stripping convicts of the vote is a violation of their human rights. It would be a defeat for the British government, whose lawyers argued it would be a major extension of the EU’s powers because voting arrangements a matter for national governments to decide.
In a potential double blow to the renegotiation drive, on the same morning a test used in Britain’s welfare system could be declared incompatible with European law on the grounds that it discriminates against migrants.
The ECJ will deliver a preliminary opinion in a case between Britain and the European Commission over the legality of its right to reside test, which EU migrants must pass before they can claim some benefits.