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Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 7:15 pm, 12th November 2018

My Lords, although I agree with the amendment in principle, I have a couple of issues with it. First, no country that is not a full member of the European Union participates in the European arrest warrant. It is, therefore, unlikely that the UK would be made an exception. Iceland and Norway, which are both members of the European Economic Area and the Schengen area, applied for membership of the warrant over a decade ago and have still not been granted participation. I understand that there are legal obstacles to a non-EU country’s participation in the European arrest warrant—for example, changes required to the German constitution.

As the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, said, the European arrest warrant clearly has benefits for bringing criminals to justice, in terms of the speed and cost effectiveness with which this can be done. However, on the positive side, the exchange of counterterrorism intelligence tends to be done on a bilateral basis between the UK and one other country, rather than between the UK and the European Union. Our leaving the European Union will, we hope, not impact on the vital exchange of intelligence data in relation to persons suspected of specified offences, which is separate from the European arrest warrant.