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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Report (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 8th May 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Ludford Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 3:45 pm, 8th May 2018

My Lords, I disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Adonis. One of the most important matters is security. In Barcelona the other day, one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives—Jamie Acourt—was arrested in a joint operation between the Metropolitan Police and the Spanish police, possibly assisted by Europol. The NCA head of international operations said:

“Our ability to share information and work at speed with our international partners ensures there is no safe haven for fugitives. We will never stop pursuing these individuals”.

That is no doubt true, but Acourt will be returned under the European arrest warrant. If we do not stay part of the warrant and have to fall back on the long-winded extradition arrangements that predate it—without any participation in Europol to facilitate cross-border police operations—our security will be endangered. I hope the noble Lord, Lord Adonis, accepts that security is one of our most important interests. I hear what noble Lords said about the effect of the amendment but, politically, it is important that this House presses on the Government the importance of staying in agencies and institutions.