Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tories seem to want to revive the Costa Del Crime

The presence in Spain of fugitives from British justice, safe because the European Arrest Warrant procedure was not made retrospective, is a permanent affront. The EAW made sure that there was no increase in their numbers. It has also made it possible to repatriate drug-dealers and paedophiles from other parts of Europe to stand trial here.

Yesterday's statement by Home Secretary Theresa May throws the UK's participation in the EAW after 2014 into doubt. Mrs May intends that we should opt out from EU justice powers but thereafter pick and choose what aspects we should opt in to. This is dangerous. It presupposes that the British public will not elect a more reactionary government at the next general election, which could come as soon as 2014. The benefits from opting-in far outweigh the losses.

There have been hard cases. To my mind, those individuals who have suffered from defective prosecutions would have been aided by more vigorous consular support.

When a fellow party member agrees with a Liberal Democrat MEP colleague that she has got it wrong, Mrs May should think again.

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