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Thursday, 6 November 2014

European Arrest Warrant Shambles - vote delayed

The Government had intended to hold a vote on the European justice and home affairs opt-in on Monday. To implement the package requires secondary legislation. The Home Office's Statutory Instrument went to the committee today that agrees whether the Statutory Instruments are correctly drafted and in legal order. For Monday's debate to take place they needed to be certified as complete. This didn't happen.

First, the clerk said he only had time to get two thirds of the way through the 90 page document they produced - suggesting they submitted this extremely late. He also said he had identified 12 drafting issues so far. Therefore the Committee, on the advice of their clerks and a Tory MP and ex-minister - Andrew Robotham wouldn't agree them. Due to the short-recess the Committee shouldn't have met again until 19 Nov, but they have agreed to have an additional session on Tuesday 11th November

At Prime Minister's Questions last week, David Cameron committed to holding a vote before the Rochester and Strood by-election on 20th November

Last year over 1,000 foreign criminals were deported under the European Arrest Warrant. These were issued most often for drug trafficking, murder, fraud, child sex offences and rape. We need to cooperate with partners in Europe to ensure people who have committed these serious crimes do not get away with it Reports suggest between 80-100 Tory backbenchers will vote to opt out of the European Arrest Warrant.

Commenting a Labour spokesperson said: "This is a total shambles. The Home Office has handed in late, incomplete homework. The buck stops with the Home Secretary. She claims to want to retain the European Arrest Warrest to stop our country becoming a 'honeypot for foreign criminals' and yet she can't be bothered to do the background work. This vote to keep criminals out of our country is being delayed because of her incompetence."