Lib Dem Peer Lord Carlile of Berriew QC has co-signed a letter to the Telegraph warning that MPs must opt in to the European Arrest Warrant as there is ‘no credible alternative.
The letter reads:
Parliament will soon face a crucial vote on the Government’s proposal to opt into certain EU measures. A key concern is the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).
Without the EAW, other EU members may be unable speedily to extradite suspects such as Hussain Osman or Jeremy Forrest to Britain – both in jail after use of the EAW. The Association of Chief Police Officers says we cannot afford to lose it.
Britain also risks becoming a safe haven for fugitives from justice – a handful of them British citizens, but the vast majority foreign nationals wanted for crimes elsewhere in Europe.
At home, recent statutory changes should help prevent extradition to long pre-trial detention overseas, and curb EAW use for trivial offences. Overseas, Britain can only lead reform of Europe’s criminal justice co-operation by being part of the system.
There is no credible alternative to the EAW. Other EU members will be reluctant to adopt new laws if we reject a system that works. Resort to international law on extradition would be slow and ineffective.
A vote to opt in will be a vote for security and for fair and effective criminal justice.
A full list of signatories can be found here