Serious and Organised Crime: Prüm Convention

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:16 pm on 8th December 2015.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary 4:16 pm, 8th December 2015

Way back in what seem like the mists of time—in May 2005, to be precise—I was appointed to the Home Office and given ministerial responsibility for the development of the European arrest warrant, and today I think back to the discussions that I used to have with Sir William Cash on that very issue. I remember that it was something of a hot potato, and I also remember that the nature of that debate changed very quickly in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings and, subsequently, the failed bombing at Shepherd’s Bush on 21 July. It was found that one of the bombers, Hussain Osman, had taken the Eurostar to Paris in the immediate aftermath of that failed bombing, and had then travelled on to Rome, where he was finally arrested on 29 July. A European arrest warrant was issued by the British police, and was agreed by the Italian courts on 17 August. Following the rejection of an appeal, Osman was flown back to the United Kingdom on 22 September, just two months after the failed bombing.

That case proved the value of the European arrest warrant, took the heat out of the political debate about it, and illustrated how the security of people here in the UK is, in fact, better served by ever closer co-operation between European law enforcement agencies.