Monday, 10 November 2014

Tonight's vote on the European Arrest Warrant is about security and I will support this measure

Everyone agrees that Britain’s relationship with Europe must change, but we should also use Europe for our benefit when we can , and I believe that using European co-operation to ensure our security is a good thing. Having dispensed with dozens of measures over the summer we are now agreeing to continue to this key measure to allow us to bring back criminals to face justice in the UK.

Without the Arrest Warrant there are 22 EU member states – including France, Germany and Spain – who could refuse to extradite their own nationals to the UK. In the past five years alone, more than 100 people from these countries have been returned to Britain to face justice – many for serious crimes including rape and murder. And even when extradition was allowed under the old Convention, it often took many years. In the case of Rachid Ramda, a terrorist, it took 10 years to extradite him from Britain to France. In contrast, using the Arrest Warrant, it took just 56 days to get Hussain Osman – who tried to blow up the London Underground in 2005 – back to the UK from Italy.

The Arrest Warrant – and the 34 other measures the Government proposes we opt back into – are practical measures that are necessary to protect us from serious criminals and terrorists. If we want to stop foreign criminals from coming to Britain, deal with European fighters coming back from Syria, stop British criminals evading justice abroad, prevent foreign criminals evading justice by hiding here, and get foreign criminals out of our prisons, these measures are vital. Tomorrow evening, the House of Commons will vote to give the police, prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies the powers they need to keep us safe. My boss, Theresa May has set out her position on this issue in detail here: