Amendment to the Motion

Part of Law Enforcement and Security (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 5:15 pm, 18th March 2019

My Lords, I am grateful for the support of my noble friend Lady Ludford and the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

The Minister kept on about the regulations not containing any major policy areas. We have not said that they provide major policy changes—we accept what the Government say about that—but what we and the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee are complaining about is that far too much legislation is contained within one statutory instrument. I specifically criticised what the Minister said in Grand Committee about the three policy areas and the common legal framework. In response to that criticism she simply repeated exactly what she said in Grand Committee.

I am grateful that the Minister admits that the contingency arrangements will result in a mutual reduction in capability of the UK and the EU, but it leaves an important question unanswered. I accept that she cannot speak for other individual EU states, but one of the purposes of the statutory instrument is to ensure that the alternative extradition arrangements under the 1957 convention can legally operate—that is, that the UK can extradite people to EU states or other signatories to the convention. However, we do not know whether EU states’ domestic legislation will allow them to extradite people to the UK.

As the Minister acknowledges, they may have to redesignate the UK as a Council of Europe member rather than as an EU member state in their domestic legislation in order to make the 1957 convention work. However, we still have no reassurance that the contingency arrangements the Government are relying on will work in practice. I accept that they are doing what they can on their side of the agreement, as it were, but we still do not know whether EU countries will be able to extradite people to the UK under the 1957 convention.

We are getting into the detail but the point is that it does not matter how long or short the Explanatory Memorandum is: if there is too much content in the statutory instrument itself, you will never get an Explanatory Memorandum that will assist the House because it will be either too superficial or too detailed to enable sufficient scrutiny. I believe the Government accept that and hopefully we will not face this situation in the future. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment to the Motion withdrawn.

Motion agreed.