Backbench Business

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:12 pm on 20th April 2017.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East 3:12 pm, 20th April 2017

The hon. Gentleman is right. Because of the different jurisdictions, legislation and applications of law in those countries, it is extremely difficult. The people who really benefit from the European arrest warrant are the highly paid lawyers—I declare an interest as a non-practising barrister, and I have never done an extradition case—who do well partly out of the uncertainty that people face. When they are told they are about to be arrested, they obviously they seek legal advice. They may have to pay a huge amount of money and may in the end not even face charges.

What the issue boils down to is that the automatic transmission of people is the problem—the lack of a test allowing the courts in this country to look carefully at what is happening. I know, although I have not seen his speech, that in replying the Minister will definitely and correctly claim credit for the fact that, when she was Home Secretary, the Prime Minister introduced a bar that had to be reached before people could be extradited. There is no doubt that a court test is now applied, but it is not high enough and it does not give the protection required.

The hon. Member for Monmouth does a terrific job in his official capacity as a special constable—it is one of my dreams that one day on the tube I will meet him in his full regalia. He has visited places in the EAW area and says that some of them have better detention facilities than ours. I cannot believe that, because we are the best in the world, and I am extremely jealous to think that any other country’s detention facilities are better.