Catherine Bearder MEP said (Oxford Mail, February 14) that the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is independent of any government or political interference.

That is largely correct, but it means by logical conclusion that it is also independent of the views of the ballot box.

The perfect irony with the issue of votes for prisoners is, should the ECHR force us to abide by its ruling, that in effect will deprive the rest of us of exactly the same human right – the right to change this law by the ballot box.

That is fundamentally wrong.

This issue should be decided by our democratically elected parliament not by an unaccountable foreign court.

In this judgement the ECHR has gone beyond the wishes of its creators and is overstepping its remit.

It’s sad to say, but if it continues to do so we have no option but to withdraw for the sake of our democracy, and the human rights of the vast majority of our law-abiding citizens.

Paul Williams Oxfordshire UKIP