Amendment to the Motion

Part of Law Enforcement and Security (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing) 5:00 pm, 18th March 2019

My Lords, these matters were debated in Grand Committee on 12 March. I expressed then, as I do now, that I very much agree with the report of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, Sub-Committee A. It expressed the concerns about the way this regulation has been brought forward. It is fair to say that it was quite damning of how the Government presented the regulations to both Houses of Parliament.

Recommendation after recommendation highlighted how inadequately information was presented to Members of both Houses. In Committee, I very much agreed with the comments of the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. I supported everything she said, except that if the measures came before the House, I would not vote to stop them coming into force. However, at the end of the day, we do not have a fatal Motion here. The regulations are badly drawn up, with little regard to the needs of either House. As I said, that point was made by the sub-committee but endorsed by everyone who spoke in Committee. I also concur with the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, from the Liberal Democrat Front Bench.

I have a few other points to make. I do not intend to go into them in detail because I made a lot of them in Committee. I am very concerned that we could lose access to the European arrest warrant and may have to go back to relying on the 1957 Council of Europe Convention on Extradition. That is a retrograde step; the only people who would welcome it are criminals—no one else. I am also concerned about the loss of access to databases. In Committee, I also mentioned the issue of the Schengen information system and Prüm. I do not recall whether I got an answer to my questions. What will be the situation there? Can the Minister comment on Europol and Eurojust? Again, I want to hear more than just, “We are working on it”. These issues are important and we want to know where we stand.

The report is damning, as I said. I hope that the department will learn a lesson from it. I do not think that committees put forward such suggestions lightly. We want proper scrutiny. We want to ask questions and put everything together in one place but it has not worked and I hope that we will not see anything else like it in future. I will leave it there.