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Interpretation

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 8th January 2020.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security) 5:30 pm, 8th January 2020

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I shall develop that point, because one issue is that the non-binding political declaration contains an aim for a broad, comprehensive and balanced security partnership, but that is currently just words on a piece of paper. We urgently need a plan. When the former Prime Minister spoke at the Munich security conference in February 2018, she spoke about a security treaty with the EU27, but we are still waiting for the planned architecture of that co-operation.

Let me give some specific examples. Things such as the European arrest warrant, Eurojust and Europol are critical to the successful investigation and extradition of wanted suspects or criminals. National Crime Agency statistics show how important this is. In the period from 2010 to 2016, the UK made 1,773 requests to member states for extradition under the European arrest warrant and received 48,776 requests from member states for extradition. Not only can the UK currently bring people to these shores to face justice, but we can send dangerous people to other countries to face legal proceedings.

It seems the Government have accepted the importance of the European arrest warrant. Their July 2018 White Paper said that

“the UK has arrested more than 12,000 individuals, and for every person arrested on an EAW issued by the UK, the UK arrests eight on EAWs issued by other Member States”.

That White Paper also showed the challenge that the Government face. It said:

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

We cannot allow our capability to be diminished.