Continued participation in the European Arrest Warrant

Part of Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 11th September 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security) 6:15 pm, 11th September 2018

I entirely agree. The Brexit Secretary’s previous record is of real concern, and it is certainly inconsistent with the Government’s stated objective. Tonight the Security Minister has an opportunity to support the new clause, and to put to bed any doubts that Members may have on this matter.

On 5 September, only days ago, in a speech updating the House on the attacks in Salisbury and referring to the two suspects, the Prime Minister said:

“with respect to the two individuals, as ​the Crown Prosecution Service and police announced earlier today, we have obtained a European arrest warrant and will shortly issue an Interpol red notice.”—[Official Report, 5 September 2018;
Vol. 646, c. 169.]

That only goes to show that the European arrest warrant is a critical tool in our security toolkit. It is vital to ensure that should those suspects set foot in the EU, they will be remanded to the UK to face justice.

Having heard what the Security Minister himself has said in the past, I think that he actually agrees with me. On 9 December last year, he told the House:

“As we have said and will continue to say, we seek tools similar to the European arrest warrant, which we find incredibly useful. It helps us and our law enforcement agencies.”—[Official Report, 19 December 2017;
Vol. 633, c. 1018.]

That is his view, and I hope that it will be reflected in his approach to the new clause this evening.

On 19 June, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, said that there was room for manoeuvre on the European arrest warrant. He said that if the UK

“cannot take part in the European Arrest Warrant” in the way that it does now,

“This does not mean that we”

—the EU and the UK—

“cannot work together on extradition.”

The Government’s own White Paper stressed the difficulty in which the Government now find themselves, stating:

“Existing extradition arrangements between the EU and third countries do not provide the same level of capability as the EAW.”

Continued participation in the European arrest warrant really should be an objective of our negotiations. As we all know, organised crime knows no borders. To keep our country safe, we must co-operate with the EU27 and, indeed, other countries around the world.

My new clause does not bind the hands of negotiators. It simply says clearly that continued participation in the European arrest warrant is a negotiating objective. If it were passed tonight, it would send a signal to Brussels, reassuring those who are concerned about the Government’s approach to security in the negotiations—my hon. Friend Stephen Doughty picked up that point in his intervention—and would also send a signal to the Security Minister’s colleagues.