Backbench Business

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:48 pm on 20th April 2017.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service) 3:48 pm, 20th April 2017

Whenever I am speaking in the Chamber, it is always my aim to ensure that colleagues are able to go to bed happy in the evening, so if it helps the right hon. Gentleman, I will repeat something I said a few minutes ago. We do believe that the European arrest warrant, with the stringent safeguards that I have outlined and that we have implemented, remains an effective tool for co-operation with our EU partners. However, we have got to go through these negotiations.

The Prime Minister is right to want to have a clear and strong mandate to have those negotiations—I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that my view is that she is the right person to handle those negotiations to get the right deal for our country—and part of that process is about ensuring that we keep our people safe and that we have a strong relationship with our partners overseas as well, in all countries. Indeed, one of the things we need to think about as we leave the European arrest warrant—it is one of the opportunities we have with all these law enforcement structures—is that crime is becoming more global. That is why our relationships with our European partners are so important and why they work, but it is also why we need to have those relationships with more countries than just our European partners.

When extraditing people from the United Kingdom, it is important that we ensure that we can show our citizens that those who should face justice do, but with their rights properly respected. As the Minister responsible for extradition, I am very clear that our position as a Government is that the European arrest warrant assists the United Kingdom in meetings its commitments to strong practical co-operation with EU partners on security, law enforcement and criminal justice, but that that is not at the expense of human rights. Our current processes, with the specific safeguards, meet both those important legitimate points.