10 Nov 2014 : Column 1200

Points of Order

4.26 pm

Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker—

Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell) (Con): We haven’t started.

Mr Speaker: Order. That was an exceptionally ignorant observation from a sedentary position by the hon. Member for Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke). If he would sit quietly and listen, instead of pontificating from ignorance, he might one of these days learn something.

Yvette Cooper: Will you confirm, Mr Speaker, that the motion on the Order Paper refers to the criminal justice and data protection regulations, which, as you have said, include 11 measures, none of which is the European arrest warrant? Will you therefore confirm that this is not a vote on the European arrest warrant today?

Mr Speaker: I can. Members can interpret all they like, but there will not today be a vote on the specific matter of membership of the European arrest warrant. That is the reality.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: I will come to other Members, as these are important matters that have considerably and understandably exercised hon. and right hon. Members, but first I call Yvette Cooper on that point of order.

Yvette Cooper: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I thank you for your response, which is very clear. The Home Secretary wrote to me on 9 November and said that she wanted to be absolutely clear that Monday’s debate and vote in the House of Commons would be a debate and vote on the whole package of 35 measures, including the arrest warrant. Will you therefore confirm that that is not correct?

Mr Speaker: I stand by what I have said. The House will understand that in doing so I do not act entirely alone and certainly I do not do so without studying the matters and taking the advice of disinterested experts. That is what I have done, because that is my responsibility. The Home Secretary, of course, can offer her own take on the matter and doubtless she will do so. I have advanced the position in what I believe to be factual terms, unadorned but benefiting from expert advice.

Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) (Lab): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. On 29 October, the Prime Minister said:

“I am not delaying having a vote on it”—

that is, the European arrest warrant—and:

“There will be a vote on it.”

He went on to say that

“we are going to have a vote, we are going to have it before the Rochester by-election”.—[Official Report, 29 October 2014; Vol. 587, c. 301.]

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1201

Have you had any indication from the Leader of the House whether there will be an emergency business statement so that we can facilitate a vote on the European arrest warrant rather than on everything but the European arrest warrant?

Mr Speaker: There are two answers to the hon. Lady. First, I have had no indication whatever that a Minister intends to make an emergency statement to the House. Secondly, I do not think that it is for me to seek to interpret the comments of the Prime Minister. It would be presumptuous of me to do so and would require probably a degree of sophistication that I do not claim that the Chair possesses.

Mr Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe) (Con): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Will you accept that it is likely that the issues that Members will wish to raise in the course of today’s debate, on whichever side of the argument, will be very similar for all of the 35 measures that the Government propose to opt back into and the more than 100 measures they are opting out of? Although I accept your ruling on the technical meaning of the vote at the end, will you allow a broad interpretation of what is relevant to the debate, because at the root of it is the competence of the EU in these issues and the use that is made in this country of the 35 measures that the Government are seeking to opt into?

Mr Speaker: I say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, whom I have known for 20 years, that I do not feel entirely confident in anticipating what, as he puts it, is likely to be said. However, I am probably not blessed with the degree of prescience that he possesses. He possesses great prescience. I have indicated an intention to offer some latitude to Members of the House, because I think that that is what Members, in these rather imperfectly configured circumstances, would expect.

I was asked the specific question, “Is the vote on the European arrest warrant?” The simple and straightforward answer—I, like the public, believe in straightforward dealings—is no, it is not. That is the end of it.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: I will take further points of order, but we cannot deal with these matters indefinitely. Let us hear from a knight from Lincolnshire.

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I am completely confused now. I read in all my Sunday newspapers that we would be debating the European arrest warrant today and that we would have a vote. Apparently, there was going to be a rebellion, but I know nothing about that. Apparently, we are not now voting on the European arrest warrant. What are we voting on?

Mr Speaker: The answer is that we are voting on the regulations, which I am sure the hon. Gentleman has studied comprehensively. When he says that he is confused, I find it hard to credit. He is a sophisticated barrister and has served in the House for 31 years and five months—[Interruption.] Yes, and a day. He has served in the House for 31 years, five months and a day, so I cannot believe that he is confused about anything.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1202

Nine hon. Members wrote to me, presumably independently of each other because I do not think that Members are in the habit of sharing their letters to the Speaker with each other, to indicate that they intended to speak in the debate on the European arrest warrant. They obviously all thought the same thing. I will let the hon. Gentleman into a secret: I, too, thought that we would be debating and voting on the European arrest warrant. However, I ask him to bear it in mind that I am just the Speaker. Government Whips sometimes have another language altogether, which only they understand.

Yvette Cooper: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Given the confusion and secrecy that there has clearly been, the difference between your clear advice to us and the Home Secretary’s letter to me, and the fact that the Home Secretary is sitting here, do you not think that this is a great opportunity for her to stand at the Dispatch Box and make a point of order to clarify the position—are we voting on the European arrest warrant or not?

Mr Speaker: It is open to the Home Secretary to do so. She may feel that she wants to set out her thoughts in the debate, and she is welcome to do that.

In all courtesy, I must come to the point of order from the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Jacob Rees-Mogg).

Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Thank you for your helpful reply to my inquiry on this matter. Is it not right that debates are, on most days, in the hands of the Government? They are perfectly capable of putting down clear motions that people will understand. If they want a vote on the arrest warrant, they can have one. Does this not seem to you, as it does to me, to be procedural prestidigitation to persuade people that they are voting on something on which they are not really voting? Would it not be better if the Government were to put down a clear motion on some future day that we could vote on properly?

Mr Speaker: I say to the hon. Gentleman that all sorts of things might be better, as he puts it, but as I said in my statement, the Chair and the House can deal only with what is on the Order Paper. I understand, because it has been communicated to me by several Members, that there is considerable irritation on this matter. I absolutely understand that, but what I am trying to do, operating within the limits of the powers of the Chair, is to facilitate the will of the House. I have only a partial ability to do that—I cannot create a vote for which provision has not been made—but the House will want to debate what the House wants to debate. In future, it would be better if these matters were handled in a way that is straightforward, and if the hon. Gentleman’s appetite for the honouring of commitments were to be met.

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I am very grateful to you for you excellent clarification so far. Will you confirm my understanding that the mighty issue of opting in and giving away major powers from this House is also

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1203

not on the Order Paper, so the House cannot vote for or against that massive opt-in and surrender of power today?

Mr Speaker: I think it is probably safest for me to say to the right hon. Gentleman that I leave that for him to interpret. I do not want to embarrass him, but he has an intellect truly frightening, so I am quite sure he can interpret these matters to his own satisfaction.

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I am delighted that you will allow some latitude in the debate later on, because I always like it when you allow a certain amount of latitude in the House.

The Home Secretary wrote to the shadow Home Secretary saying:

“The Government has been clear throughout that Parliament should have the opportunity to vote on the final package—

which includes the arrest warrant—

“before we formally notify Europe of our desire to remain bound by it.”

We may debate whatever we want, but what really matters is what we have voted for and what, in the end, goes into law and is resolved by virtue of what we have voted on. Can you make it clear that the Government have been extremely unwise to proceed in this way, and that legal uncertainty will remain unless we are absolutely clear that by virtue of what we are voting on this afternoon, we will not be notifying the European Union of joining the European arrest warrant?

Mr Speaker: All we can do today is have a debate, and after that debate Members will have either to vote for or against the regulations or decide to abstain upon them. What motions might or might not be put forward on a subsequent occasion, either to satisfy Members’ appetite or for the purposes of the clarity that the hon. Gentleman hankers after, is another matter. That, of course, is in the hands of the usual channels.

I think I have given a fairly clear indication that this has been a rather sorry saga and that the House should not be put in this position. Most of us think that a commitment made is a commitment that should be honoured, and we should try to operate according to sensible standards rather than trying to slip things through by some sort of artifice. It may be the sort of thing that some people think is very clever, but people outside the House expect straightforward dealing, and they are frankly contemptuous—I use the word advisedly —of what is not straight dealing. Let us try to learn from this experience and do better.

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you not simply rule that this is an utter and absolute shambles? Have you any explanation of how we have got to this sorry state?

Mr Speaker: I have expressed my own thoughts to the House on how we should proceed, and I have tried to be very fair and candid about the matter. Whatever opinion people have about these matters, they will express it, and that is nothing to do with the Chair.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1204

I cannot really go further than I have gone today. The handling of matters in the future, as ordinarily, is in the hands of the business managers. In the best, pragmatic British tradition, what we must do is work with what we have before the House today and, if I may say so to the hon. Gentleman, do our best.

Mr Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am sure that the House is most indebted to you for your ruling. It is being said that tonight’s vote will be a proxy for a vote on the European arrest warrant. Is there anything in Standing Orders to allow a vote on one issue to be treated as a proxy for a vote on another?

Mr Speaker: It is not for me to interpret individual votes. The hon. Gentleman asks whether there is anything in the Standing Orders about how a vote on one matter can be considered to be a proxy for another, and the straightforward, factual answer—as I think he knows—is that no, there is not. I am not aware that anybody is suggesting that there should be, but do not give them ideas.

Geraint Davies (Swansea West) (Lab/Co-op): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You have made it clear that the debate is about 10 powers being transposed, excluding the European arrest warrant. Can you make clear that in the event that the House votes down that motion, the Government will still be free to go forward with the 35 measures they want, without reference to the House?

Mr Speaker: I am sure the hon. Gentleman is doing his best, but he is getting a bit beyond himself. I have said that the debate is about the regulations. I have been very fair and quite fulsome in my responses to colleagues’ inquiries, to try to give straight answers. We should probably leave it there—

Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) (Lab) rose—

Mr Speaker: Except, of course, that I cannot refuse to take a point of order from somebody who first entered the House in 1966.

Mr Winnick: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I think there is general agreement that what has emerged from these points of order has not in any way improved the reputation of the House of Commons. You said a few moments ago that we should know precisely what we are debating, and that the public outside certainly will not. Do you therefore feel that there is a case for the sitting to be suspended for a short period in order—given the usual way in which these matters are looked on by the usual channels—for us to have clarification before the debate begins? I emphasise that the reputation of the House of Commons is not so high that we should go through this farce.

Mr Speaker: I thank the hon. Gentleman and I always treat what he says with great seriousness and respect. The reason I do not think we should travel that route is first that we are where we are and, as I have said, I think pragmatically that we should deal with the circumstances that exist. Secondly, a business of the House motion will give people the chance to say their piece on the allocation of time and, with latitude, more widely on the handling of these matters—matters to which I think we should now progress.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1205

Business of the House (Today)

4.42 pm

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling): I beg to move,

That, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents), debate on the Motion in the name of Secretary Theresa May relating to Criminal Law may continue until 10.00pm, at which time the Speaker shall put the Question, if it has not already been decided.

Having listened carefully to the strictures in your initial statement, Mr Speaker, I will keep my remarks brief to leave time for the full debate and the latitude that, as you expressed, would be permissible. The points that have been raised on the European arrest warrant will be addressed by the Home Secretary in her speech. I also want to explain to the House why I will not be able to support the Home Secretary in the main debate today. In my capacity as Lord Chancellor I have to speak at the lord mayor’s banquet tonight, and will not be able to take part in that debate—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker: Order. The lord mayor’s banquet will have the joyous benefit of hearing the Secretary of State, which is right and proper. For the time being, however, the House should have the joyous benefit of hearing from the right hon. Gentleman. It was in some danger of not having that opportunity because of excessive kerfuffle. Let us hear from the right hon. Gentleman.

Chris Grayling: The Government have brought forward this debate so that the House can consider legislation to ensure that domestic law is compliant with a package of 35 measures that the Government seek to rejoin. The motion is to facilitate parliamentary scrutiny by extending today’s debate beyond that of a normal statutory instrument. I want to be clear that the debate and vote will be taken as a vote on the whole package of 35 measures as a whole, and I urge the House to support this business motion.

4.44 pm

Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford) (Lab): What a shambles! What complete chaos! The Justice Secretary is scuttling away and will not even stay for the debate this evening. My hon. Friend the Member for Walsall North (Mr Winnick) suggested we suspend the sitting to allow the House to come back with a more sensible business motion. We will happily suspend the House. It would allow the Justice Secretary to go for his dinner and come back again, and we could then vote later on a more sensible measure.

The Justice Secretary stood there and I heard him say that this was a vote on the whole package of 35 measures. That is in direct contradiction to your ruling and your advice to this House, Mr Speaker. We were told that the business motion today would give us a proper debate. The Whips are scuttling away to try to do some quick dealing to sort out the mess and chaos that the Home Secretary has left the House in today. This was supposed to be a proper debate on the European arrest warrant—the motion will allow no such thing.

The Home Secretary told me, in a letter I received this weekend, that

“Monday’s vote is a vote on the entire package of 35 measures …and in this case a whole day is being made available for the debate rather than the usual 90 minutes.”

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1206

The whole reason for this business motion, and the whole reason we have the suspension of Standing Orders and the extra time for the debate, is because the Home Secretary told us that this would be a debate on 35 measures, including the European arrest warrant. That is what this business motion is supposed to achieve, but it is a joke. Instead, we have a vote on 11 regulations—regulations we support and will vote for—that do not include the European arrest warrant. This is what the motion states:

“That the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014…be approved.”

What do the draft regulations say? Not the 35 measures the Government want to opt back into; just 11 good sensible measures, none of which is the European arrest warrant. We have today a business motion on a false premise. This is what the Committee Chairs have said:

“The motion to be considered by the House of Commons concerns a Statutory Instrument…which is only intended to complete the implementation, in UK law, of 10 of the 35 measures the Government proposes to rejoin. It has no direct relevance to the European Arrest Warrant, the most contentious of the 35 measures, or to UK participation in EU Agencies such as Europol or Eurojust.”

That is what they said at the end of last week. That is why I wrote to the Home Secretary at the end of last week to ask her to clarify the matter for the House. That is why she then wrote to me and said that this included the whole package of 35 measures.

The Prime Minister promised us a vote, and that is what the business motion should achieve. The Leader of the Opposition asked him:

“A vital tool…is the European arrest warrant. Why is the Prime Minister delaying having a vote on it?”

The Prime Minister said:

“I am not delaying having a vote on it. There will be a vote on it.”

The Leader of the Opposition offered our help. He said:

“We will give him the time for a vote on the European arrest warrant, and we will help him to get it through.”

The Prime Minister said again,

“we are going to have a vote, we are going to have it before the Rochester by-election”.——[Official Report, 29 October 2014; Vol. 587, c. 301.]

So where is it? Instead, the Home Secretary forgot to put it in the motion.

Why does the Home Secretary want to play into the hands of those who might challenge the European arrest warrant in the courts by not having a straightforward vote? Why not just put the three words “European arrest warrant” on the Order Paper and allow us a vote? Yes, some Back Benchers would vote against it, but Labour would vote for it and support the Home Secretary because we think it is the right thing to do. Why not let Parliament have the vote it was promised?

We have just had three quarters of an hour of the Chancellor trying his smoke and mirrors trick, but the Home Secretary has gone one step further with a disappearing magic trick! One minute the European arrest warrant is there, the next minute it is gone. One minute you see it, the next it disappears. It’s her Paul Daniels act! Unfortunately, she has sent the Justice Secretary to be her glamorous assistant Debbie McGee and to come and present it to the House! She thinks they’ll like it—not a lot, but she thinks they’ll like it!

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1207




The business motion is a complete joke. She should withdraw it and come back with more sensible proposals.

We will vote for the regulations, but we will vote against this business motion, because it is a joke, a complete nonsense. It does not provide Parliament with the vote we need on the European arrest warrant, but is simply because the Government are scared of a rebellion. They want to say one thing to one group of people and another thing to another group. They are not being straight with the House. The Home Secretary knows she is playing fast and loose with very serious measures on tackling crime and national security. It is irresponsible, and it is playing fast and loose with Parliament as well. I urge her and the Justice Secretary to rethink, ditch this business motion, come back with something more sensible and let us vote on the measures this country needs.

4.50 pm

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): This is a disgraceful way of going about a very important matter. It is tainted with chicanery. It is not the way that Parliament should be treated. Right from the very beginning of this issue, the European Scrutiny Committee, the Home Affairs Committee and the Justice Committee have complained about the lack of transparency and consultation and the manner in which the Home Secretary has been treating the House. It is completely unbelievable that she should come to the House and, presumably, try to argue—as we shall discover in due course—that this is about the EAW when it clearly is not.

If the motion were a Bill, it would be dealt with in separate clauses and parts, all of which could be amended, but this motion is unamendable. That has not yet been properly considered. This is being done to avoid a real decision being taken today, as was promised to us by the Prime Minister only a few weeks ago, and by the Home Secretary in the article in The Sunday Telegraph and in the letter that the shadow Home Secretary referred to. This is a travesty of our parliamentary proceedings, and that is a reason in itself to vote against the business motion, as I shall be doing. I could give many other reasons for doing so, but it is fundamentally about a lack of transparency and honesty in going about issues we need to deal with.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May) indicated dissent.

Sir William Cash: I am sorry that the Home Secretary is shaking her head, because she knows perfectly well that this is a trick and an attempt to get round the reality of what is facing us: this is not just about law and order, but about the European Court of Justice and the opportunities being created to bypass this House and our own courts. It is a disgrace.

4.53 pm

Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab): It is a pleasure to follow the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee. I co-signed a letter with him and the Chair of the Justice Select Committee over the weekend to express our concern about how this legislation is being put through the House.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1208

Mr Speaker, you were clear that this was not a vote on the EAW, but the Lord Chancellor, when he moved the business motion, told the House that we were voting on the full package of 35 measures, so that voting for the motion would allow the Government to inform the European Commission that we had opted back into the 35 measures. Mr Speaker, I prefer to accept your ruling that this is about the 10 regulations, not the EAW. The Select Committee was clear that the House should have the opportunity to vote on the EAW separately, because we felt that it was controversial and had huge implications for the British people. The position of the European Scrutiny Committee is that we should vote on each of the 35 measures. I am not against that idea; I just do not think we can do that tonight. We will need additional time to do so.

I share all the concerns of the hon. Member for Stone (Sir William Cash). This is a shambolic attempt to get a vote on an issue of fundamental importance to the British people. I hope the motion will be withdrawn to give us an opportunity to vote on these measures.

4.54 pm

Sir Menzies Campbell (North East Fife) (LD): From time to time during my career here, the procedures of the House have stood in the way of its intention. Often on these occasions, the matters have been resolved on the basis of, I suppose, allowing a more mature consideration, and with the Treasury Bench seeking the opportunity to take with it all the disparate opinions within the House, making it clear that nothing is being done that thwarts the will of the House to discuss a matter of such significance as the one under consideration today. Would it not therefore be appropriate for the Treasury Bench to take the opportunity of having more mature consideration and to withdraw this motion, proposing instead one that would meet the aspirations of those who either support or oppose—

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

Sir Menzies Campbell: I cannot give way.

Pete Wishart rose—

Sir Menzies Campbell: I am not an expert on procedure, Mr Speaker, but I understand what is happening here.

Several hon. Members rose—

Mr Speaker: Order. I am trying to listen intently to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I hope I have not misunderstood him, but he certainly is able to give way if he wishes to do so, although he is not obliged to do so.

Sir Menzies Campbell: We learn something new every day, Mr Speaker.

Pete Wishart: I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He can have his way: all he needs to do is to encourage his fellow Liberal Members to vote against the business motion. If it is defeated, the Government will have to go away, think again and present something sensible so that we can all debate what we want to debate. He should get the Liberals to vote against the business motion.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1209

Chris Grayling: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Sir Menzies Campbell rose—

Mr Speaker: If the right hon. and learned Gentleman will forgive me, I will take the point of order from the Secretary of State for Justice.

Chris Grayling: It might help the House to know that, as I explained in my remarks, tonight’s motion extends the normal 90-minute debate to one that lasts all evening. Should it be defeated, there would simply be a 90-minute debate.

Sir Menzies Campbell: That, Mr Speaker, is also my understanding. It is equally my understanding that there is considerable unrest in the House about this matter. Surely in those circumstances, the best thing for the Government to do is to go away and think about how best to allow us to express our view on these matters. Otherwise, we will have a bad-tempered, fractious and inconclusive debate. How can that possibly be in the interests either of the House or indeed of the public?

4.57 pm

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): The right hon. and learned Member for North East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) spoke very wisely. He is absolutely right to say that the way we do our business in this House is just as important as the business we transact. That is why we have rules that govern our proceedings. For centuries we have believed in this country that we govern by consent, not by arbitrary decisions made solely by the Government. We govern by consent, not by proxy motions that are reinterpreted by the Government. That is why it is important that the way we do our business, especially on a matter that affects the imprisonment and extradition of British nationals and nationals of other countries coming back to this country—a matter of essential importance to people’s personal liberty—should be debated properly, openly and transparently on a proper motion that, as the hon. Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) said, should be amendable. The motion should not be advanced to the House by proxy or by some subsidiary means; it must be open and clear.

The Home Secretary and the Prime Minister stated quite categorically in this Chamber, and elsewhere in letters, that they would ensure that there was a proper vote on the matter of the European arrest warrant. Mr Speaker, you have said today that this will not be a vote on the European arrest warrant, yet the Justice Secretary, who should know better, has told us that he will reinterpret the message as meaning that this is a vote on the European arrest warrant. I simply say to the Government that for the sake of legal certainty—so that lawyers will not be paid vast quantities of money to debate in extradition courts whether the law has changed and whether it applies—it is essential that they withdraw the motion, and that they should have tabled a proper motion in the first place.

It is no good the Government coming here and saying, “The House may pass one thing, but we will interpret it to mean exactly the opposite.” The House agreed unanimously that the rules should be changed in relation to Magnitsky, and that anyone who had been

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1210

involved in his murder or in the corruption that he had unveiled would not be allowed in this country. The Government agreed to that at the time, and have done nothing subsequently. The Government let the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill go through, and have done nothing since. We cannot have a Government who conclude, arbitrarily, “The House has decided one thing, but we choose to believe that it means exactly the opposite.”

5 pm

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Many of us thought that we would have an opportunity today to debate the very weighty question of whether this country should opt back into 35 important measures relating to criminal justice, and put it under European Court of Justice and European Union control. We looked forward to a debate and a vote on that high principle, which includes the important and contentious European arrest warrant, but also a number of other measures that constitute the building blocks for a system in which our criminal justice would be conducted primarily under the central control of the European Union rather than that of the United Kingdom.

We welcome the Government’s wish to engage and to allow us a reasonable length of time in which to debate those matters, followed by a concluding vote at 10 pm, but you, Mr Speaker, have told us, very wisely and helpfully, that that is not what the business motion says, and, through you, I urge Ministers to consider amending it. As I understand the position, you would probably be sympathetic if they wished to do so. We could debate their regulations for 90 minutes, and during the remaining time, until 10 pm, we could debate the much wider issues of substance. We could discuss whether we wish to opt into all those measures and what we think of the European arrest warrant. Some believe it to be the biggest of all the measures, which is in itself debatable. I think that justice would then be seen to be done by the wider public.

I hope, Mr Speaker, that I am not taking liberties by suggesting to Ministers, through you, that a simple amendment to the business motion might provide a way out of this dilemma, and enable the House properly to consider the wider constitutional issues.

Mr Speaker: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for what he has said. Let me simply say, for the convenience and awareness of the House, that the Home Secretary will wind up the debate on the business motion in order to clarify the Government’s position. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman regards that as helpful. In the spirit of fairness and propriety, the Opposition Front Bench will also have a wind-up speaker, who I believe will be the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson).

Mr David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab): It looks like it, Mr Speaker.

Sir Edward Garnier (Harborough) (Con): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am very grateful to you for the suggestion that you have just made. Would it not be even more convenient to the House if the Home Secretary did that now? We could then curtail this debate, and get on with it.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1211

Mr Speaker: That is very cheeky indeed. Other Members might wish to speak in the debate. It is not only Front Benchers who have a right to speak. Other Members might wish to express themselves as well. I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman was, as always, trying to be helpful, but let us hear from a couple of other Members.

Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) (LD): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am one of those who were waiting to speak, but I would happily forgo my place in the queue if the Home Secretary could be allowed to tell the House in a little more detail whether we are voting on the European arrest warrant or not.

Mr Speaker: That is very generous of the hon. Gentleman, and I think that it will be taken by the House in that spirit, but Members must have their head. If they wish to demonstrate generosity similar to that of the hon. Gentleman, they can, and if they do not, they will not.

5.4 pm

Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) (Lab): There are many differences over the European arrest warrant, as there are bound to be. They are legitimate differences, and it is important for us to debate the subject and vote accordingly. I believe that there is a unanimous view that there should be a debate on the actual issue of the European arrest warrant. When I received the Whip, like other Members, I was utterly surprised by Monday’s business, in which there was not one mention of a debate on the European arrest warrant. Ministers clearly consider that they were clever, and that they would contain and minimise a vote against what is being proposed. I can understand that, and it is not unique to this Government, but what is unfortunate, and what is a form of deception, is to bring a motion before the House for debate which is basically about the European arrest warrant but to avoid those three words.

I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that if we are confused and if we do not like it, what about people outside? There are people who pay close attention to what we are doing, who are interested in the work of Parliament, and who believed that today we were going to debate the European arrest warrant; and they will see the exchanges that have occurred, and which have lasted over an hour, about whether or not the actual issue was to be debated today in the House of Commons. I therefore put it to you, Mr Speaker, that the way to resolve this issue is for the Treasury Bench to make it clear that there should be a debate today on an appropriate manuscript motion on the issue of the European arrest warrant.

Let us decide one way or the other whether we are in favour of it, instead of all this muddying the water—this desire to deceive, this desire to give the opposite impression —so that at the end of the day when the vote occurs the Government can say that there has been hardly any opposition from their own side. That is not the way to proceed. It is a way that only brings the reputation of this House into disrepute, which is all the more reason why we should proceed in a different way from that which the Government have suggested.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1212

5.6 pm

Sir Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills) (Con): If I remember correctly, Maine’s “Ancient law” makes the observation that justice lies in the interstices of procedure. That rubric has survived through our history since it was set and there is a truth in it. Today we are confronted with a motion that is incomprehensible, and with an understanding that seems sly and that is actually a means of trying to incline the public to believe other than what is so.

At the heart of this is a misconception about what this House represents. We must be straight with ourselves if we continue to allow the Executive to control—so completely and absolutely now—the Standing Orders of this House. This can be no joy for Labour, because Labour also started a Modernisation Committee that was determined to take over the Standing Orders. My overlong time in this House of Commons has led me to understand that the growth of Executive arrogance is unsupportable. We say that we are disconnected from the public outside and the issues outside, and that is because we are meaningless when we are confronted in the House with no motion and no real ability to discuss the very issue that moves many people in this country. What is the purpose of this House if the Administration —and a Conservative Administration at that, whose members had to suffer all the years of a huge new Labour majority—have not learned something, namely that there has to be tolerance in this House and there has to be an ability to debate in this House?

This is what so angers one. This is what brings this Chamber into disrepute. We are not able to discuss the substance of what we stand for here, and that is wrong. I therefore think we should be talking out this motion until the end of time, until the Government come back with a proper motion before this House.

5.9 pm

Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) (Lab): In my 31 years in this Chamber I have never seen the nonsense we have got this afternoon ever happen under any Government. If it is without precedent, Mr Speaker, could we perhaps retire for half an hour or so, so the Government can put down a motion that is intelligible and that they could understand as well, so we can make a decision in a meaningful and proper way?

Pete Wishart: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is quite clear that the Government Whips and those on the Treasury Bench have concocted some sort of conclusion to this utter shambles. May we not hear, right now, from the Home Secretary, the Justice Secretary or the Chief Whip? Let us get this over and done with. For goodness’ sake, there are people watching this who will be appalled at what is going on in the House. Put an end to it now!

Mr Speaker: I understand what people are saying, but procedure does allow other colleagues to speak and I do not want to deprive them of that opportunity if they still wish to contribute.

5.10 pm

Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): This really is a sorry day for the Government. The motion to allocate time was tabled on the basis either of error or

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1213

of falsehood. The Whip went round to Conservative Members of Parliament and said that today’s motion would be on regulations including those on the European arrest warrant. My right hon. Friend the Chief Whip is one of the cleverest men in the House of Commons. He has a brain the size of a planet. He is of the highest quality and the most honourable gentleman one could find. I cannot believe that he would make a basic error of this kind.

We have Whips scuttling around the House saying that a vote will be taken tonight that will be indicative of what the House of Commons thinks about the European arrest warrant. That is a procedural absurdity. It is legislative legerdemain. The Government cannot conceivably decide that one vote is indicative of another. What might they decide next? Perhaps that a vote to cut taxes would indicate that we wanted to increase them, or that a vote in favour of longer prison sentences would indicate that we wanted to cut them? This is the way of tyranny, because it takes away the right of the House of Commons to hold the Executive to account.

Mr Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe) (Con): We have heard a wide range political views, but I think that everyone here today is unanimous in believing that we came here expecting to vote on a decision to opt in to 35 measures and that that vote would affect that decision one way or the other. Before we all get too worked up and decide that this is the biggest threat to parliamentary democracy since the gunpowder plot, may I suggest that we allow the Home Secretary to explain how the Government are going to give us the debate and the vote that we all want, even though my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset (Jacob Rees-Mogg) and I do not always see eye to eye and might not vote in the same way?

Jacob Rees-Mogg: My right hon. and learned Friend makes a point that is, as always, worth listening to, but he is in error. This matter needs to be debated thoroughly, because it is my contention that this is not accidental. A letter was sent to the shadow Home Secretary, the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper), saying that we would have a vote. The Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury said to this House that there would be a vote. The Lord High Chancellor and the Home Secretary sent a letter to the European Scrutiny Committee promising us that there would be a vote on the European arrest warrant and all the other opt-ins and opt-outs. Now that we come to it, however, it is proposed that there will be a vote, after extra debating time, on a number of relatively obscure measures that require statutory instruments, and that that will be intended to determine the view of the House. That is not proper parliamentary procedure; it is an outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedure.

I often disagree with my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke)—and with others, including my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary—on European matters, but this debate today is of a degree worse than our disagreements. Our disagreements are polite and they reflect our fiercely held views, which we discuss in an upright and, I hope, proper fashion. This approach and this motion are fundamentally underhand. That is why there is such anger, not only on the Conservative Benches and among Eurosceptics. The Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, the right hon. Member for

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1214

Leicester East (Keith Vaz), is shocked by this, as are the Scottish nationalists, who think that this is a poor way of behaving.

Mr Redwood: Is my hon. Friend aware of the irony that as we approach the 800th anniversary celebration of Magna Carta, habeas corpus and the rights we have taken from those previous generations should be at the heart of this debate but they are not going to be debated today?

Jacob Rees-Mogg: I agree with my right hon. Friend; we should be having the time to debate the issues that really matter, not obscurities.

Martin Horwood: I would not want the hon. Gentleman to leave the Liberal Democrats out of his list. Those of us who support the European arrest warrant would really value the opportunity to argue in favour of it and to vote in favour of it; we want to get the hashtag “Toriessoftoncrime” trending on Twitter and we want to have a real debate. We want that opportunity as well. I do not often agree with the hon. Gentleman on matters European, but on this one I do.

Jacob Rees-Mogg: I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for making that point, because I hope it brings home to those on the Treasury Bench the deep discontent. I was saying earlier how deeply grateful I am to you, Mr Speaker, that you are protecting the rights of the legislature against the Executive by clarifying the terms of this debate. As I look down from here at the Treasury Bench, I want to see something that is solid, but I am worried that it is made of increasingly crooked wood. We want to have it re-solidified and we want this motion withdrawn.

Mr David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden) (Con): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You have said on a couple of occasions, in response to Members of this House, that you will not call the Home Secretary until later on because others wish to speak. Is there anything to prevent her from speaking before the end of the debate?

Mr Speaker: It would be normal for the Home Secretary to speak either at the beginning or at the end of the debate. A most courteous approach was made to me on her behalf suggesting that it might be helpful to the House if she were to wind up the debate, and I agreed to that request. It is not that I am seeking to delay the Home Secretary for one moment; it is that there is provision for others to speak. When they have finished doing so, the Home Secretary can and will speak, and we will look forward to that. I think it would be a bit odd if I suddenly interrupted the flow of the debate now, when other Members are seeking to contribute, but I will take one further point of order from the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr Davis: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I quite accept that it is not normal procedure, but at the moment we are debating something we know not what. We do not know whether the Government are going to change the motion or stay with this motion. My stance on this matter is entirely different depending on which of those two outcomes it is. Therefore, it might be useful for the House to know rather earlier than usual.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1215

Mr Speaker: I can see the force of that proposition. If other Members are prepared to exercise a self-denying ordinance and to hear from the Home Secretary, they can do so. It would be normal to allow the shadow Minister, who, in any case, wants to speak if at all only very briefly, to do so. Does the right hon. Gentleman still wish to contribute? [Interruption.] He appears to be exercising a self-denying ordinance and I have a sense that colleagues would like to hear from the Home Secretary in winding up the debate. [Interruption.] In that case, I call Mr David Hanson.

5.18 pm

Mr David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I just want to focus the Home Secretary’s mind, if I may. I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke) when he says that every Member came here tonight expecting to be debating 35 measures; Members in all parts of this House believed that to be the case over the weekend. I also find myself in agreement with the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Jacob Rees-Mogg) when he says that this business is being done in an underhand way, because all Members of this House expected to come here this evening to debate this matter and the issue of the European arrest warrant.

Strangely, I also find myself in agreement with the Home Secretary, in that I am led to believe that she wants to debate and vote on the European arrest warrant. Let me let you into a secret, Mr Speaker: so do we. We would like to vote on the European arrest warrant and to give the Home Secretary our support, and I believe the Liberal Democrats would like to support her, too. We happen to take a view that murderers, child pornographers, bank robbers and fraudsters should be brought to justice in this House—[Laughter.] And perhaps elsewhere.

I disagree strongly with the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr Redwood), and the hon. Members for Stone (Sir William Cash), for Aldridge-Brownhills (Sir Richard Shepherd), for North East Somerset (Jacob Rees-Mogg) and, I suspect, the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis). They do not want to sign up to the European arrest warrant for reasons that we need to debate. I thought that today was about that debate. Over the weekend, I was expecting to have that debate today, as I am sure did all Members of this House. It now appears that that is not going to happen. Let me offer the Home Secretary a way out.

Mr Redwood: The right hon. Gentleman might wish to correct the record. I can assure him that we, like him, wish nasty people to be locked up after proper prosecution. The argument is over who has the ultimate control over our criminal justice system to do so.

Mr Hanson: Well, let us have that argument. First, let me offer the Home Secretary a way out. For the purposes of today’s debate, we will vote against the programme motion, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) has said. I invite those Members who are dissatisfied with today’s proceedings and—dare I say it—the Liberal Democrats who do not hold Government positions, to join us in that.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1216

Mr David Heath (Somerton and Frome) (LD) rose

Mr Hanson: I will give way in a moment.

If we do that and the programme motion is defeated, we will, as the Lord Chancellor has said, be in a position to debate this motion for one and a half hours this evening. That is probably sufficient to debate the 11 measures that are down before the House today. Let us defeat that programme motion, and use the 90 minutes on the 11 measures. Let the Home Secretary go away from this House, listen to what people have said from all parts of the House, bring back a formal motion to debate the other measures, including the European arrest warrant, and let people, such as the right hon. Member for Wokingham who takes a different view from me—[Interruption.]

Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West) (Con) indicated assent.

Mr Hanson: I see the Chairman of the 1922 Committee nodding his head. Let those Members have that debate. Let them exercise their vote and let this House express its will before 1 December on what we should do. This is a problem of the Home Secretary’s own making. She needs to sort it out, and sort it out now.

5.21 pm

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to speak on the business motion.

The Lisbon treaty, which was negotiated by the previous Labour Government and which included within it the opportunity for the United Kingdom to opt out of around 130 justice and home affairs measures and then to decide whether to opt back in to a number of measures, did not require any vote to be brought before this House of Commons to undertake those decisions. This Government believe that that was wrong, which is why we have brought a number of debates before this House on these matters. There is also no legislative requirement for us to bring before the House this package of 35 justice and home affairs measures.

Geraint Davies (Swansea West) (Lab/Co-op) rose

Mrs May: No, I will not give way. Members have been calling for me to stand up and speak, and that is exactly what I am doing.

There is no legislative requirement for us to bring this package of 35 measures to this House for Members to consider and vote on. There is a legislative requirement for us to transpose certain measures into UK legislation. The normal way of doing that is upstairs in a Standing Committee, on a one-and-a-half hour debate on a negative statutory instrument, after 1 December and after the decision by this Government to opt in to a certain number of measures had been taken.

Sir William Cash rose

Yvette Cooper rose—

Mrs May: No, I say to my hon. Friend and to the right hon. Lady that I have been asked to explain the Government’s position, and that is what I intend to do.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1217

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. This House agreed that the Home Secretary should speak so that she would right something that we all knew was wrong. This is simply a scoundrel’s defence. This is wrong.

Mr Speaker: No, no, no. The Home Secretary is entitled to say—and she will say—what she thinks, and the House must hear that.

Mrs May: I have made it clear that there was no requirement under the Lisbon treaty or any legislative requirement to bring the package of 35 measures to this House.

Yvette Cooper: The Home Secretary seems to think that the House should be grateful for what we have got, but she and the Prime Minister promised that there would be a vote on the European arrest warrant. Will she now admit that, with the motion she has put before the House today, she has broken that promise?

Mrs May: If the right hon. Lady will just let me continue, I will explain further to the House. As I have said, there is no requirement to bring any vote to the House. There is a requirement to transpose into UK legislation certain of the 35 measures that we will opt back into. That would normally have been done through the negative statutory instrument procedure in an hour-and-a-half debate upstairs in a Committee, not on the Floor of the House. That would normally have been done after 1 December, so after the date on which the Government had chosen to opt back in, and indeed after we had exercised our opt-in. We did not think that that was right either, which is why we have brought before the House an affirmative measure on a statutory instrument that shows the House the legislative requirements that will need to be made.

However, I have been very clear, the Government have been very clear, and indeed you, Mr Speaker, have been very clear—I am grateful for the clarification in your statement—that the debate we will be having on the motion on the regulations will be wide-ranging and, indeed, will include a debate on the European arrest warrant. I say to Members of the House that it is my intention to speak about the European arrest warrant when that debate takes place. I also say to right hon. and hon. Members that if they vote against this—[Interruption.]

Jacob Rees-Mogg: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am not sure that the Home Secretary was listening earlier when you said that the European arrest warrant can only be mentioned peripherally in the main debate, because she has just said that she intends to speak about it. It might be helpful if you reiterated your earlier advice, in case she had not been listening.

Mr Speaker: I think that I referred to the requirement for Members to deploy some ingenuity, and I gave quite a full explanation of the situation as I saw it. I do not recall using the word “peripherally”—I hesitate to argue with the hon. Gentleman, who is always very precise in his use of words—but I think that the substance of what I was getting at was clear. Let us now hear what the Home Secretary has to say.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1218

Mrs May: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am clear that it is possible in the debate on the regulations to discuss those measures that are not listed in the regulations, and that is certainly what I and other Members intend to do. The Government are very clear that what we are debating in the next debate is the regulations that transpose into legislation those measures that need to be transposed.

Mr Tom Harris (Glasgow South) (Lab): Will the Home Secretary give way?

Mrs May: No.

The European arrest warrant is not on that list because it does not need to be transposed into legislation, because that has already been done. However, the Government are clear that the vote that will take place on the regulations will be the vote that determines whether or not we opt into these measures. [Interruption.]

Sir Edward Leigh: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. As we are talking about the liberties of the subject, this is a very important matter. You have absolutely said in terms that the vote tonight is not about the European arrest warrant. The Home Secretary seems to be intimating that we are indeed making an indicative vote tonight on the European arrest warrant. The House of Commons, in a matter concerning the liberty of the individual, needs to know what it is voting on, and we need advice from you and the Home Secretary.

Mr Speaker: Order. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point or order. What Members think is indicative is a matter for them. Indeed, if a Minister in Her Majesty’s Government chooses to argue that something is indicative, that is a matter for that Minister. As a matter of fact, I was simply trying to be clear with the House, as I think was the Home Secretary in her previous paragraph, to be fair, that tonight’s vote—I have been asked regularly what the vote is about—is on the regulations. The vote is not—I repeat, not—on the European arrest warrant.

Mrs May: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In fact, I was attempting to be as clear as you have been that the vote on the next motion will be a vote on the regulations, which includes those measures in the package of 35 that we wish to opt back into which require to be transposed into UK legislation. But the Government are clear that we will be bound by that vote, and if this House chooses not to transpose those measures and votes against the regulations, it will be voting against the Government opting into all the measures, including the European arrest warrant.

My final point is this: we have the option now of a vote on the business motion. The decision for Members of the House is whether to vote against that business motion and have one and a half hours for debate on all these matters, or to vote in favour of the business motion and have four and a half hours for debate. I trust they will take the latter option.

Yvette Cooper: Mr Speaker, you pointed out how unusual it was for the Government also to reply to debates on a business motion, but is it not normal in a reply to respond to the points that have been made in the debate? In the debate it was clear that the Home

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1219

Secretary promised a debate on the European arrest warrant and promised a vote on it, and she has not given it. Do you agree that that is not a reply to a business motion debate?

Mr Speaker: I think I have set out the position clearly and there is nothing at this stage for me to add, but Members will form their own view. That is the fairest thing I can say—Members will form their own view.

I think I am right in saying that the Home Secretary has concluded her speech.

Mrs May: Indeed, Mr Speaker.

Question put.

The House divided:

Ayes 251, Noes 242.

Division No. 77]


5.31 pm


Aldous, Peter

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Baldry, rh Sir Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barker, rh Gregory

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Bingham, Andrew

Binley, Mr Brian

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Bray, Angie

Brazier, Mr Julian

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, rh Annette

Browne, Mr Jeremy

Bruce, Fiona

Bruce, rh Sir Malcolm

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burley, Mr Aidan

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burstow, rh Paul

Burt, rh Alistair

Burt, Lorely

Byles, Dan

Cable, rh Vince

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Carmichael, Neil

Chishti, Rehman

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Clegg, rh Mr Nick

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Crockart, Mike

Crouch, Tracey

Davey, rh Mr Edward

Davies, David T. C.


Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorrell, rh Mr Stephen

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Farron, Tim

Featherstone, rh Lynne

Field, Mark

Foster, rh Mr Don

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fullbrook, Lorraine

Fuller, Richard

Garnier, Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

George, Andrew

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Hague, rh Mr William

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hancock, Mr Mike

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Harvey, Sir Nick

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Hemming, John

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Charles

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hopkins, Kris

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Gareth

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kirby, Simon

Lamb, rh Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Lansley, rh Mr Andrew

Latham, Pauline

Laws, rh Mr David

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Jessica

Leech, Mr John

Lefroy, Jeremy

Lewis, Brandon

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lloyd, Stephen

Lopresti, Jack

Luff, Sir Peter

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

Maude, rh Mr Francis

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McIntosh, Miss Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

McVey, rh Esther

Menzies, Mark

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Maria

Milton, Anne

Moore, rh Michael

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

O'Brien, rh Mr Stephen

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Opperman, Guy

Osborne, rh Mr George

Ottaway, rh Sir Richard

Paice, rh Sir James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pickles, rh Mr Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pugh, John

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, rh Sir Hugh

Rogerson, Dan

Rudd, Amber

Russell, Sir Bob

Rutley, David

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Soubry, Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stanley, rh Sir John

Stephenson, Andrew

Stewart, Iain

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stunell, rh Sir Andrew

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swinson, Jo

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Teather, Sarah

Thornton, Mike

Thurso, rh John

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Ward, Mr David

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, rh Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittingdale, Mr John

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, Jenny

Wright, rh Jeremy

Wright, Simon

Yeo, Mr Tim

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Tom Brake


Gavin Barwell


Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Afriyie, Adam

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Baker, Steve

Balls, rh Ed

Banks, Gordon

Barclay, Stephen

Barron, rh Kevin

Bayley, Hugh

Begg, Dame Anne

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blears, rh Hazel

Blomfield, Paul

Blunt, Crispin

Bone, Mr Peter

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brady, Mr Graham

Brennan, Kevin

Bridgen, Andrew

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bryant, Chris

Burden, Richard

Burnham, rh Andy

Byrne, rh Mr Liam

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carswell, Douglas

Cash, Sir William

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Jenny

Chope, Mr Christopher

Clarke, rh Mr Tom

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Connarty, Michael

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Crausby, Mr David

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Curran, Margaret

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

de Bois, Nick

De Piero, Gloria

Docherty, Thomas

Doran, Mr Frank

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Doyle, Gemma

Drax, Richard

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Edwards, Jonathan

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Engel, Natascha

Esterson, Bill

Farrelly, Paul

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gilmore, Sheila

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodman, Helen

Gray, Mr James

Greenwood, Lilian

Griffith, Nia

Hamilton, Mr David

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harris, Mr Tom

Havard, Mr Dai

Healey, rh John

Heath, Mr David

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hermon, Lady

Heyes, David

Hilling, Julie

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hopkins, Kelvin

Horwood, Martin

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, rh Mr George

James, Mrs Siân C.

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kelly, Chris

Kendall, Liz

Khan, rh Sadiq

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Lewis, Dr Julian

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn

Love, Mr Andrew

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCabe, Steve

McCann, Mr Michael

McCarthy, Kerry

McCartney, Jason

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Jim

McGuire, rh Mrs Anne

McInnes, Liz

McKechin, Ann

McKenzie, Mr Iain

McKinnell, Catherine

Miliband, rh Edward

Miller, Andrew

Mills, Nigel

Mitchell, Austin

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme


Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, Grahame M.


Munn, Meg

Murphy, rh Paul

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

Nuttall, Mr David

Onwurah, Chi

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Percy, Andrew

Perkins, Toby

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Raab, Mr Dominic

Raynsford, rh Mr Nick

Redwood, rh Mr John

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reevell, Simon

Reeves, Rachel

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Robertson, John

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Roy, Mr Frank

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Dame Joan

Sanders, Mr Adrian

Sarwar, Anas

Sawford, Andy

Seabeck, Alison

Shepherd, Sir Richard

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, Angela

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Stewart, Bob

Straw, rh Mr Jack

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Stuart, Mr Graham

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, rh Keith

Walley, Joan

Watts, Mr Dave

Weir, Mr Mike

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Wiggin, Bill

Williamson, Chris

Wilson, Sammy

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Woodcock, John

Wright, Mr Iain

Tellers for the Noes:

Tom Blenkinsop


Phil Wilson

Question accordingly agreed to.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1220

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1221

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1222

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1223

Criminal Law

[Relevant documents: Nineteenth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee, Documents considered by the Committeeon 5 November 2014, HC 219-xviii; Seventeenth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee, The UK’s block opt-out decision: summaryand update Report, HC 762; Twenty-first Report from the European Scrutiny Committee, Session 2013-14, The UK’s block opt-out ofpre-Lisbon criminal law and policing measures, HC 683, and the Government Response, HC 978; Ninth Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2013-14, Pre-Lisbon Treaty EU police andcriminal justice measures: the UK’s opt-in decision, HC 615, and the Government Response, HC 954; Eighth Report from the Justice Committee, Session 2013-14, Ministry of Justice measures in the JHAblock opt-out, HC 605, and the Government Response, HC 972; First Joint Report from the European Scrutiny, Home Affairs and Justice Committees, Session 2013-14,The Government’s response to the Committee’s Reports on the 2014 block opt-out decision, HC 1177.]

5.45 pm

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): I beg to move,

That the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014, which were laid before this House on 3 November, be approved.

Protocol 36 is the part of the Lisbon treaty that relates to the United Kingdom’s opt-out from the policing and criminal justice measures that were adopted before the treaty came into force. The opt-out provisions are unique to the United Kingdom, and were negotiated by the previous Administration. Under the terms of protocol 36, the UK had to decide before the end of May 2014 whether it wished to opt out of all the police and criminal justice measures—some 130 in all—that predate the Lisbon treaty. The opt-out had to be exercised en masse; we could not simply leave the measures that we did not like.

Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) (Lab): I want the Home Secretary to be very clear, and give a yes or no answer. Will the House get the chance in the next couple of weeks to vote on the European arrest warrant?

Mrs May: The House is getting a chance today to debate the European arrest warrant. The House has been clear that it wished to have such a debate. We were very clear during the debate on the business motion that regulations are before the House, and the House will vote on those regulations. I have also been very clear about the Government’s position. We have brought those particular regulations before the House because they are the only ones that we need to transpose into UK legislation. I will come on to comment on the European arrest warrant. As I said earlier, I am very clear that the vote today relates to whether or not the UK opts back in to the package of measures that we have negotiated. The package comes together; it is not an a la carte menu from which one can pick and choose.

Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford) (Lab): Is the Home Secretary telling the House that she disagrees with the ruling made by the Speaker—yes or no?

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1224

Mrs May: No. I can tell the right hon. Lady that I would certainly not stand at the Dispatch Box and disagree with the Speaker’s ruling. The Speaker’s rulings are about what happens in this Chamber and what votes are on. In fact, the words I have just said agree with the Speaker’s ruling—that the vote will be on the regulations on the Order Paper. We have tabled the motion because we believe it right that the House, in debating and considering the package of measures that we want to opt back in to, sees very clearly what legislation is necessary to transpose certain measures.

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): But the Speaker has said in terms that we are not voting on the European arrest warrant. Is the Home Secretary now arguing that by voting for the regulations tonight we are joining the European arrest warrant?

Mrs May: I have been very clear that the formal vote before the House is on the regulations. I have also been clear that the Government—I will come on to explain our timetable, which has some relevance to this matter—want to opt back in to measures that are in a package. If the House votes against transposing some of those measures into UK legislation, it is effectively voting against our package of measures. On that basis, we can speak about all the measures within the package of 35 measures.

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): Why did the Home Secretary not just include the European arrest warrant in tonight’s motion?

Mrs May: I have explained that the statutory instrument transposes those measures that require legislation. I repeat—I am happy to speak about this again later—that we are not required to transpose the European arrest warrant into UK legislation because it is already in UK legislation, in the Extradition Act 2003.

We had an opportunity to exercise the opt-out, and we did so. We have brought back more than 100 powers from Brussels.

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): Will the Home Secretary give way?

Mrs May: I will make some progress, because the time for the debate is now more limited and I know that many hon. Members wish to speak.

As the Prime Minister says, we have overseen the biggest return of powers since this country joined the EU, but we have always been clear that we wanted to remain part of a smaller number of measures that give our police and law enforcement agencies vital and practical help in the fight against crime. This Government and this party will never put politics before the protection of the British public and that is why we are seeking to remain part of a package of 35 measures that help us to tackle serious crimes and keep this country safe.

Geraint Davies (Swansea West) (Lab/Co-op): Will the Home Secretary confirm that in the event the House votes down these 11 measures, she will still be free to opt in to the European arrest warrant and, what is more, she will still be free to move forward with those 11 measures through other parliamentary means? That is the case, is it not?

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1225

Mrs May: We have been very clear that we have brought before the House tonight those measures that are required to be transposed into UK legislation. We have also been clear that in the Government’s view, a vote against those regulations is a vote against the package of 35 measures. I have been very clear that the 35 measures hang together. Even though only a small number require transposing into legislation, they are a package of measures and not a pick and mix.

Several hon. Members rose

Mrs May: I am going to make some progress.

The package is the product of careful deliberation in this House and beyond. It follows consultation with the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, our security and intelligence agencies, the devolved Administrations and the Lord Advocate in Scotland, the Government of Gibraltar, victims’ groups and many more. It has been scrutinised by Committees in both Houses of Parliament and the Justice Secretary, and I, along with other Ministers, have appeared before those Committees to give evidence on the Government’s approach. We have also published two Command Papers on the issue.

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (LD): I am pleased that we will, I hope, opt in to a range of these measures. As the Home Secretary says, this has taken a huge amount of time, effort and negotiations with Europe. How much benefit is there, given that most of the measures to which we are not opting in have expired?

Mrs May: There is considerable benefit, and I point my hon. Friend towards the measures on minimum standards for the justice system—there are about 20, I think. It is not the view of the Government, and it is certainly not the view of the Conservative party, that we should be part of the European justice system that some people think some of Europe wishes to introduce. Coming out of the minimum standards measures was an important part of ensuring that we did not go in that direction.

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con): My right hon. Friend mentioned the scrutiny process, but, as she well knows, all three Select Committees—the European Scrutiny Committee, the Select Committee on Home Affairs and the Select Committee on Justice—have said that there has not been proper consultation with Parliament on these matters. What has happened today amply demonstrates our concerns and nothing has emerged to change our view. Will my right hon. Friend explain how on earth all this has happened?

Mrs May: I am aware of the views expressed to this House by my hon. Friend and by the Chairmen of the Justice and the Home Affairs Committees. I remind my hon. Friend that I, the Justice Secretary and other Ministers have appeared in front of the Select Committees of this House, of the European Scrutiny Committee and of Committees of the House of Lords on a number of occasions on the subject of these measures. We have also held a number of debates on the Floor of the House and varying views have been expressed from both sides of the House about the measures that have been proposed.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1226

Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) (DUP): Given that the Home Secretary wrote yesterday in The Sunday Times that the European arrest warrant and 34 other measures were in the package proposed by the Government, and given that she knew that the European arrest warrant was one of the most controversial of those measures, will she explain why she has included those issues in the regulations that we are discussing today but left out the European arrest warrant?

Mrs May: It has been made clear that it is possible to discuss the other measures in our debate today, and I have explained why the regulations include only certain measures—those required to be transposed into UK legislation.

My hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Dr Huppert) was right to refer to the package of 35 measures being the product of tough negotiations in Europe. In July, when we last gave Government time for a debate on the issue, I informed the House that good progress had been made in negotiations with the European Commission and other member states and that we were close to reaching an in-principle agreement. The matter had been discussed at the General Affairs Council in June, but some member states had expressed technical reservations. I published Command Paper 8897, which included the full list of measures discussed at the General Affairs Council and impact assessments of each of those measures. I had hoped to be able to return the matter to Parliament for consideration before the summer recess, but the reservations expressed by other member states meant it was not possible to do so. In September, two of those member states lifted their reserves and I am pleased to be able to inform the House that on Friday, Spain, the one remaining member state blocking the deal, formally lifted its reservation in Brussels.

I believe that the deal we have negotiated in Europe and that we are bringing before the House today is a good one for the United Kingdom. It includes important tools such as SIS II, the second-generation Schengen information system, which the United Kingdom is scheduled to join shortly. That will further strengthen our ability to detect foreign criminals at the border, including individuals wanted in their own countries for serious crimes such as rape and murder.

The package of measures we have negotiated includes Europol, which does excellent work under its British director, Rob Wainwright, to tackle cross-border crimes. Three weeks ago, for example, Europol played a key role in Operation Trivium, a UK-wide operation led by West Midlands police that saw police forces from 14 European countries jointly targeting foreign criminals in the UK. Senior officers from across Europe came together at the control centre in Edgbaston to witness the operation in action and Europol provided a mobile unit to co-ordinate activities on the ground. In the first 48 hours of the operation, more than 700 suspected criminals were arrested and a further 950 were handed on-the-spot fines for minor offences, cautioned or summonsed to court. They included a 51-year-old Polish man arrested on suspicion of involvement in a fraud of more than £11,000.

Europol also played a key part in tackling the horsemeat scandal that so appalled this House and the British public last year, as did Eurojust, another of the measures in our package.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1227

Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con): The Home Secretary keeps talking about a package of measures, but, of course, this is not a package of measures but things that she has bundled up into a package. As she appears to be making up parliamentary procedure as she goes along, will she explain how on earth those people who agree with some of the measures but not others should vote this evening?

Mrs May: I described them as a package because that was what was open to us under the terms of the Lisbon treaty negotiated by the previous Labour Government. We have to opt back in to a group of measures. There are measures in the package that interrelate. For example, the European supervision order relates to the European arrest warrant. We cannot simply pick and choose individual measures; many of them interrelate and should be considered together.

Lady Hermon (North Down) (Ind): The Home Secretary made but a fleeting reference to consultation with the devolved institutions, but since Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom to share a land frontier with another EU member state, will she take the opportunity to put on the record that the Justice Minister in Northern Ireland, David Ford, and the Assembly support the measures before us this evening?

Mrs May: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for raising that point. The Justice Minister in Northern Ireland supports the measures, as does the Justice Minister in the Republic of Ireland, Frances Fitzgerald, who has made very clear the consequences if the House rejects the measures and if the Government do not opt in to them.

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): The Home Secretary may recall that she and I stood on the same Conservative manifesto, which said very clearly that a Conservative Government would reassert the “ultimate authority” of the House of Commons over important matters and repatriate powers in criminal justice. Does she not see the danger that if we opt back in to 35 measures, without having any legislation to assert our primacy, our criminal justice system can be entirely controlled from Brussels?

Mrs May: I will refer later to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and what that means in relation to the measures before us. This is a simple decision about whether we want to be part of practical law and order measures that make a difference to the ability of our law enforcement agencies to catch criminals.

The support and co-ordination provided by Eurojust were invaluable to the UK’s law enforcement agencies and prosecutors during the fraud investigation that followed the revelation of the horsemeat scandal. Eurojust was extremely proactive and offered immediate assistance to the prosecutors in our Crown Prosecution Service, and provided vital information on investigations that were being carried out right across Europe.

Several hon. Members rose

Mrs May: I will make a little progress before I take more interventions.

The assistance of Eurojust has proved instrumental in the prosecution of animal rights extremists in the UK. Through its facilitation of meetings between the

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1228

relevant European jurisdictions, evidence was obtained of the existence of an international conspiracy to blackmail the suppliers and customers of Huntingdon Life Sciences which was used in the UK trial.

Mr James Arbuthnot (North East Hampshire) (Con): I ought to declare an interest because my wife is a judge who deals with European arrest warrants on a regular basis. The suggestion that there is no judicial oversight of European arrest warrants in this country is nonsense. Please will my right hon. Friend stick to her guns, because I do not want this country to become a haven for foreign criminals?

Mrs May: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his comments. I assure him that I will refer to a number of measures that will ensure that there is judicial oversight of the European arrest warrant and proper consideration of such cases in the United Kingdom. He is absolutely right about another thing. The Government have negotiated this package and are bringing it to the House because we believe that these measures are necessary to ensure that we can continue the job of keeping people safe and bringing criminals to justice.

I will outline some of the other vital measures in the package of 35 measures. However, I said earlier that I would say a little about the timing of today’s debate, which I think is relevant to the consideration that Members have given to the motion. Now that the final reservation has been lifted on our deal, which, as I said, happened on Friday, we must allow for discussion at a Council in Brussels before the month is out. Very few appropriate options remain. We must add items to the agenda of a Council 16 days in advance to guarantee their inclusion. That means that we do not have long to complete our domestic processes. To avoid an operational gap for our police and law enforcement agencies, we must complete the entire process before 1 December. That involves formally notifying Brussels about the measures that we wish to remain part of.

Sir William Cash: Will my right hon. Friend give way? It is important.

Mrs May: I hope that my hon. Friend will forgive me for just one moment. He will know that I am usually very generous in giving way to him during debates on European matters, even though I sometimes disagree with the points that he makes. However, the point that I am about to make is important too.

If we do not complete the entire process before 1 December, including notifying Brussels of the measures that we wish to remain part of, we will have an operational gap, which I believe would be a real problem for our police and law enforcement agencies. We must be ready to transpose those measures fully into our domestic law. That is why it is important that we hold votes in this House and the other place, and complete the necessary legislative steps as soon as possible—hence the motion before us.

Sir William Cash: In the light of what has happened so far and the fact that we do not have the opportunity to vote on the European arrest warrant, as Mr Speaker has indicated, will the Home Secretary confirm that we will have an opportunity to do so, as was promised not

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1229

only by her, but by the Prime Minister? We have not had such a vote. Will she guarantee that we will have one after a proper debate on the matter?

Mrs May: I have set out quite clearly the Government’s view on the motion before the House and the debate that we are having. I will attempt to make progress, because I want to get on to some of the other issues, including the European arrest warrant. I recognise the degree of interest in that and the concern that remains among some hon. Members. That is why I wish to have time to speak about that particular measure.

Steve Rotheram (Liverpool, Walton) (Lab): Will the Home Secretary give way?

Mrs May: I will give way once more and then I will make progress.

Steve Rotheram: Following on from what the hon. Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) said, when the Prime Minister was offered parliamentary time to debate the European arrest warrant by the Leader of the Opposition, he said:

“There is only one problem with the right hon. Gentleman’s …question: we are going to have a vote, we are going to have it before the Rochester by-election—his questions have just collapsed.”—[Official Report, 29 October 2014; Vol. 587, c. 301.]

What has changed, Home Secretary?

Mrs May: We are having a vote on the regulations tonight and it has been made very clear that people are able to discuss the European arrest warrant in the debate.

If we were to vote against the motion tonight and did not opt back in to the measures—because a vote against the motion tonight would be a vote against the package of 35 measures—we would find ourselves kicked out of Europol within weeks and our extradition arrangements would be thrown into legal uncertainty, potentially for years. That would risk harmful individuals walking free and escaping justice, and would seriously harm the capability of our law enforcement agencies to keep the public safe.

Mr Dominic Raab (Esher and Walton) (Con): Will the Home Secretary give way?

Mrs May: I will make a little more progress and will then give way to my hon. Friend.

For the reasons I have just given, the Government have always been clear that it is in our national interest to remain part of these vital measures and to do so without an operational gap.

Over the past four years, and particularly since we announced our intention to exercise the opt-out in July 2013, a number of hon. Members have proposed alternative courses of action to me and my right hon. Friend the Justice Secretary as we have undertaken our negotiations in Europe. A number of hon. Members are interested in the position of Denmark with regard to justice and home affairs matters. Some have said that it provides a potential model for the UK to follow. I believe that it is a false comparison. Denmark has a separate protocol to the Lisbon treaty that excludes it from participating in post-Lisbon justice and home

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1230

affairs measures. It has concluded third-country agreements with the EU because it has no other way to participate in those measures.

By contrast, protocol 36 to the Lisbon treaty sets out the process by which the UK can opt out of and rejoin justice and home affairs measures. There is no precedent for an international agreement between the EU and a member state that already has the ability to participate in EU measures by specific means. The European Commission argues that protocol 36 provides adequate provision and renders a third-country agreement unnecessary. Riding roughshod over that would involve walking away from a very good deal for the UK and risk damaging our support for future negotiations in Europe. Even if we could persuade the European Union, it would take years to thrash out, guaranteeing a lengthy operational gap in the fight against crime and a risk to the British public that would be unacceptable.

Finally, I hope hon. Members will heed the Danish example in full. Every agreement that Denmark has made separately with the European Union has required Denmark to submit to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. In effect, the Danish agreements that have caught the attention of some hon. Members simply bind Denmark to EU law by another legal means. I suspect that is not what those hon. Members had in mind.

I have explained that only a certain number of the measures require transposition through the regulations before the House. The regulations make provision to give effect to the European supervision order in England and Wales, and in Northern Ireland. That allows British subjects to be bailed back to the UK, rather than spend months and months abroad awaiting trial. It will therefore stand alongside the reforms that we have made to the arrest warrant, making it easier for people like Andrew Symeou, whose case has been championed admirably by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield North (Nick de Bois), to be bailed back to the UK and preventing such injustices from occurring in future. The connection between the supervision order and the arrest warrant, one of which is being transposed in the regulations and one of which is not, is an example of the inter-connectedness of the package of measures.

Sir Edward Leigh: My right hon. Friend is being very generous in giving way.

I mean this question completely sincerely. One reason why I passionately support the British courts and jury system is that one never knows when one might get into trouble or be wrongly accused oneself. I realise that it is extremely unlikely, and it is a personal question, but if she were wrongly accused of something in, say, Croatia, would she rather rely on British justice and traditional extradition procedures or on the say-so of a prosecutor in Croatia?

Mrs May: If my hon. Friend will forgive me, I will come on to explain how we have changed the European arrest warrant so that British judges are now interposed in the system in a way that they were not always in the past. Those measures have been an important advantage, and some arrest warrant requests to the UK have already been rejected as a result.

I do not want to lose sight of some of the other measures in the package. For example, the regulations also cover the European criminal records information

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1231

system. We are already taking steps to identify foreign nationals who are abusing our openness and hospitality by committing crimes in this country. Operation Nexus, a groundbreaking initiative taken by the Metropolitan police and immigration enforcement, helped us to remove more than 2,500 foreign nationals during its first two years, including 150 dangerous immigration offenders considered by the police to represent a particularly serious threat. As I said, it began with the Metropolitan police, but it has recently been extended to the West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester forces and six other forces including Police Scotland, and we wish to extend its work to every force in England and Wales. ECRIS is a key tool that supports that operation and thereby helps to keep our streets safe.

As people find it easier to move around the globe, we must ensure that our law enforcement agencies can exchange information more readily too. In 2006, the UK made and received no requests at all for criminal records from other EU member states. In 2012-13 we made over 25,000 requests, and last year that figure was 41,500. I recently announced that the Government would increase the number of criminal record checks on foreign nationals by introducing full checks on foreign nationals arrested in the Metropolitan police area. Given that 30% of those arrested in London are now foreign nationals, it is clear that that is an operational necessity. That is also why our package of 35 measures also includes the Swedish initiative, which simplifies the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement agencies, and the data protection measure, which protects personal data transferred in the fight against crime. Those measures both require transposition, and they are covered in the regulations.

Another of the measures in the regulations provides for joint investigation teams between our police and their European counterparts. It allows our police to participate in cross-border operations such as Operation Birkhill, which saw five criminals sentenced to a total of 36 years’ imprisonment this summer for their involvement in the degrading trafficking into the UK of over 120 women from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland; and Operation Rico, which resulted in 110 arrests, mostly in the UK and Spain.

Dr Huppert: The Home Secretary is being generous in giving way. She has made a strong argument for cross-border co-operation with our European partners, but one measure that she is not opting into is the internal security fund, which involves about £3 billion for measures across Europe to tackle cross-border crime. We are one of only two countries that have not opted into that; will she consider doing so, so that we can continue to work across borders?

Mrs May: We were clear about the package of measures that we wished to opt into—the 35 that we identified. We looked at all the 130-odd measures that were subject to protocol 36, and we believe that the package that the Government have published for Members is the right one to give our law enforcement agencies the powers they need.

Another measure in the package is the prisoner transfer framework decision, which helps to remove foreign criminals from British jails—prisoners such as Ainars

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1232

Zvirgzds, a Latvian national convicted of controlling prostitution, firearms and drug offences and assault. In April 2012, he was sentenced to thirteen and a half years’ imprisonment in the UK, and in June this year he was transferred out of this country to a prison in Latvia, where he will serve the remainder of his sentence. Had it not been for the prisoner transfer measure, he would have remained in a British prison at a cost to the British taxpayer of more than £100,000.

As I indicated earlier, I have taken part in a number of debates on these issues. From those debates, and from the debate that we had earlier and the comments that right hon. and hon. Members have made today, it is absolutely clear that the measure that attracts the most interest from Members is the European arrest warrant.

Extradition is always an emotive subject. It raises important questions about the civil liberties of British citizens, the quality of justice in other countries, the role of our own courts and how we bring criminals to justice, and I understand those concerns. I remind hon. Members that I am the Home Secretary who blocked the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the United States, and who reformed our extradition arrangements so that, when prosecution is possible in both this country and another, British courts can block extradition overseas if they believe it is in the interests of justice to do so. I therefore share many of the concerns that have been raised about the European arrest warrant in the past. Indeed, as a member of the shadow Cabinet I voted against its transposition into British law by the last Labour Government. That is why, as Home Secretary, I have legislated to reform the operation of the arrest warrant and increase the protections that we can offer to British people and others who are wanted for extradition.

The changes that we made through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 mean that the arrest warrant that sits in our package of 35 measures is a better and safer arrest warrant than the one operated over the past decade. Under the last Government, British citizens could be extradited for disproportionately minor offences, so the law has been changed to ensure that arrest warrants are refused for those suspected of minor offences. A British judge must now consider whether the alleged offence and likely penalty is sufficient to make someone’s extradition proportionate, and a British judge must also consider whether measures less coercive than extradition are available to foreign authorities.

Lady Hermon: I am grateful to the Home Secretary for taking a second intervention from me.

The Home Secretary knows well that a Mr John Downey walked free from the Old Bailey earlier this year. He had been charged in connection with the Hyde park bombing, which killed four innocent British soldiers, and was also sought in connection with the Enniskillen bombing and the murder of two Ulster Defence Regiment men in Northern Ireland. He walked free because the Northern Ireland Office had signed off a letter in 2007—not during the current Administration—for a category of people known as the on-the-runs. Mr Downey is now enjoying the air of County Donegal. Would the UK opting into the European arrest warrant help the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland retrieve Mr Downey to face serious criminal charges if the Police Service of Northern Ireland had sufficient evidence?

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1233

Mrs May: I recognise the case that the hon. Lady raises and her concern about it. I do not think it would be right for me to comment from the Dispatch Box on an individual case, particularly one that involves certain other matters that are not only relevant to the measures that we are discussing. As she says, they relate to decisions taken some time ago about the issue of on-the-runs.

Michael Ellis (Northampton North) (Con): May I commend my right hon. Friend and ask her to stick to her guns on this matter? She is delineating the changes that she has caused to be made to the European arrest warrant. It is different from how it was before, and we can and must support it in the interests of justice, because it will prevent this country from becoming a safe haven for terrorists and criminals. Furthermore, does she recall that Keith Bristow, the head of the National Crime Agency, told the Committee that I sit on, the Home Affairs Committee, that he supported the European arrest warrant? He said that it was the best tool to accomplish what my right hon. Friend and the rest of the House want to achieve.

Mrs May: My hon. Friend makes a good point, and as an assiduous member of the Home Affairs Committee he has looked at the matter in some detail. He is absolutely right that the Committee was clear about the benefits of the European arrest warrant. We have indeed made changes to it, thanks to which the National Crime Agency refuses requests before they even get to our courts in the case of the most trivial offences, freeing up police and court time for more serious matters.

Pete Wishart: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In your ruling, you made it clear that reference to the European arrest warrant was to be made only in passing. The Home Secretary has been speaking about the European arrest warrant for the past 10 minutes. Is that not in total contravention of what you ruled earlier?

Mr Speaker: I said in my statement that I intended to offer latitude, so that the matters of which the House wishes to treat may be properly aired. I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s intentions in seeking clarity from the Chair, but nothing I have heard so far has conflicted with that. I intended—and I intend—pragmatically to handle matters from where we are, which, as I think we all agree, is sub-optimal.

Mrs May: Our reforms have also clarified the rules on dual criminality to ensure that an arrest warrant must be refused if all or part of the conduct for which a person is wanted took place in the UK and is not a criminal offence in this country. The National Crime Agency is now refusing arrest warrants where it is obvious that the dual criminality test has not been met. It has done so nearly 40 times since our reforms came into force in July. Under the old arrest warrant, people were being detained for long periods overseas before being charged or standing trial. We have changed the law to require that a decision to charge, and a decision to try the person, has been made in the requesting country before they can be extradited.

Nick de Bois (Enfield North) (Con): I am grateful to the Home Secretary for her personal interest in the case of my constituent Andrew Symeou, and to the Minister. On this point, which is often known as the Symeou

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1234

clause, does she have confidence—this is something that I and my constituent lack—that the decision to charge and try will necessarily follow with the same speed and alacrity as in this country and many other countries? We are totally reliant on those other countries to enforce such measures quickly, else people will languish in jail because there is a difference between the decision to charge and the different decision to try.

Mrs May: In our changes to the legislation we are clear that this is about the decision to charge and to try. As I mentioned earlier, my hon. Friend has been assiduous in championing the issue because of the case of his constituent Andrew Symeou and we all recognise that that sort of circumstance led many people to query the European arrest warrant and be concerned about its operation. The legislative changes we have made allow a British court to decide that unless there is a decision to charge and try an individual, it can reject the European arrest warrant. In addition, we have also made changes so that an individual can be transferred temporarily to give evidence and be returned to the United Kingdom, or to give evidence by video link, for example, so that they do not need physically to be taken to the other country concerned.

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab) rose—

Nick de Bois: rose—

Mrs May: I note the importance of the case of my hon. Friend’s constituent, so I will give way to him again.

Nick de Bois: I am grateful for the Home Secretary’s attempt to explain that point, but perhaps I can ask her about another issue. The courts are not allowed to take into account the record of a country in its effectiveness at pursuing a case from charge to trial-ready. Would such a requirement on the courts provide more confidence that they can look beyond the initial application to extradite and hold to account countries that fail to deliver?

Mrs May: I note my hon. Friend’s point, but I believe that the changes we have made are sufficient to ensure that our courts are able to make judgments on charge and trial, and therefore a judgment on whether a European arrest warrant should be put into place. I will give way to the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant).

Chris Bryant: I did not have to ask this time, and I am grateful to the Home Secretary. I fully agree with what she is saying about the European arrest warrant and with many of the changes that she has managed to introduce and negotiate with other countries. I agree with all that, but not with the process she is adopting. On 29 October, when asked about the European arrest warrant, why did the Prime Minister say not just once but four times:

“I am not delaying having a vote on it. There will be a vote on it…we are going to have a vote, we are going to have it before the Rochester by-election”—[Official Report, 29 October 2014; Vol. 587, c. 301.]

The Speaker has already said that this is not a vote on the European arrest warrant. So that all Members of the House can at least reckon that they have had a fair deal, will the Home Secretary please give us a proper vote next week?

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1235

Mrs May: And the hon. Gentleman started off so nicely—such a disappointment. As I have said, the National Crime Agency is refusing arrest warrants in certain circumstances, and as I indicated in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield North (Nick de Bois), those require people to be able to be charged and stand trial. Some hon. Members were worried that arrest warrants were being used for investigatory purposes rather than prosecution, and, as I said, that is why we have allowed people to visit an issuing state temporarily to be questioned, or to do so via a video link without even leaving these shores.

Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): These post-July changes are extremely welcome, but one point that has not yet been made is that 95% of European arrest warrants that are applied for from this country are for foreign nationals. It is foreign countries wanting their nationals back to prosecute them—these are foreign nationals, foreign criminals, who have come to the United Kingdom because they think that it can be a safe haven. The European arrest warrant is enabling the countries where the offences were committed to get their nationals back—95% of those warrants do not apply to UK citizens but to foreign citizens.

Mrs May: My right hon. Friend makes an important point. He is prescient because it was a point to which I was coming soon in my speech, and it is an important statistic. Sometimes people think that the European arrest warrant is just used to extradite United Kingdom citizens from the United Kingdom, but that is not the case.

Hon. Members have expressed concerns about people being charged with offences over and above those specified in their arrest warrant if they consent to extradition, so we have lifted the requirement that individuals lose their right to “speciality protection” when they consent to extradition. Those changes have been made in UK law, and came into effect earlier this year. They are already making an important difference to the operation of the arrest warrant.

Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park) (Con): The concept of proportionality is hard to define and therefore hard to understand. The Home Secretary has already given examples of cases that have been refused on the basis that they are too trivial. Can she give an example of the least serious offence where extradition has been possible since July?

Mrs May: I do not have a list of all the European arrest warrants that have been refused, but there are two steps to the proportionality decision. The first is an administrative decision taken by the National Crime Agency as the body that initially receives the request. Then there is the possibility for the courts to make a determination about proportionality, and they will consider a variety of issues. It is not a tick-box approach; the courts will make judgments not just about the nature of the crime but about the nature of the disposal available in the other member state in relation to that crime, so that they can decide whether the arrest warrant is appropriate.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Sir Tony Baldry) indicated that the vast majority of people extradited from the UK—more than 95%—are foreign nationals. They include suspects wanted for 124 murders, more than 100 rapes, nearly 500 serious assaults and seven

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1236

terrorism cases. In the same period, the arrest warrant has been used to return 647 people to this country to face justice. The list includes 51 suspected killers, 80 suspected paedophiles, 46 suspected violent thugs, and one suspected terrorist.

Sir Menzies Campbell (North East Fife) (LD): I am glad that my right hon. Friend has come to the issue of the United Kingdom causing the extradition of others from abroad. Does she accept that the European arrest warrant brought an end to the rather hideous spectacle of well-known criminals living off their ill-gotten gains and sunning themselves on the Costa Brava?

Mrs May: My right hon. and learned Friend makes an important point, and there are many people, particularly from Spain, whom we are now able to extradite in a rather more efficient process than was the case previously, and they are exactly the sort of people to whom he refers.

Several hon. Members rose

Mrs May: I say to right hon. and hon. Members that I am conscious of the time I have been speaking for. I have taken a number of interventions, but I wish to make progress because others wish to speak in this debate.

Some opponents of the European arrest warrant say we should refuse to remain part of it and instead rely on the European Council convention on extradition of 1957. However, as my hon. Friend the Member for Esher and Walton (Mr Raab) noted on the radio last week:

“If we have to fall back temporarily on the old Council of Europe conventions, extraditions will be slower.”

That view was echoed today by the House of Lords Extradition Law Committee, which stated that

“there is no convincing case for disagreeing with the conclusions previously reached by the European Union Committee that ‘If the United Kingdom were to leave the EAW and rely upon alternative extradition arrangements, it is highly unlikely that these alternative arrangements would address all the criticisms directed at the EAW. Furthermore, it is inevitable that the extradition process would become more protracted and cumbersome, potentially undermining public safety.’”

Mr Raab: I am very grateful for my right hon. Friend’s elucidations. What I am seeking to understand is why we cannot opt out of all the measures, including the EAW, and negotiate a bespoke arrangement without the erosion of democratic control through the European Court of Justice and other means. I listened very carefully to what she said earlier—the Commission’s view that this was unprecedented—and I appreciate it would take time and a lot of diplomatic elbow grease, but can she confirm that there is no legal bar to that course of action and that it is a question of political will?

Mrs May: I recognise my hon. Friend’s point. It is one he has made to me on a number of occasions. I have addressed the two areas where people have sometimes said that alternative arrangements could be made. The first is that we would fall back on the Council of Europe convention of 1957. I have been absolutely clear in the remarks I have just made that there is one crucial aspect that would cause us problems: the length of time that extradition procedures would take. As the House of Lords Extradition Law Committee has just said, that could undermine public safety.

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1237

There is another aspect in which that would be problematic were we to be negotiating with other member states. Without the arrest warrant there are 22 member states in the EU, including France, Germany and Spain, that could refuse to extradite their own nationals to the UK. In the past five years alone, more than 100 people from those countries have been returned to Britain to face justice, many for serious crimes including rape and murder. One of those was Andreas Ververopoulos, a Greek, who committed a violent and sickening sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl in Hampshire in 2007 and then fled home to Greece. In July 2013, Hampshire police linked him to the crime using DNA and an arrest warrant was used to return him to the UK. In April this year, he pleaded guilty to his crimes and was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment. The judge in the case said it was

“an appalling attack on a young and vulnerable girl”.

After seven years of further suffering, the victim and the victim’s family finally saw justice done.

Yvette Cooper: I, too, have looked at that case. I agree with the Home Secretary that it is an appalling example of a terrible crime. The European arrest warrant was rightly used in that case. Will she say why the EAW is not on the Order Paper?

Mrs May: The right hon. Lady knows that I have answered that question previously.

The right hon. Lady is right that the case I cited was a particularly difficult and awful case in terms of the crime that was committed. Without the arrest warrant, the individual who committed that crime would still be in Greece today. Before it came into force, Greece did not surrender its own nationals. Indeed, it entered a reservation to the 1957 convention specifically barring the extradition of Greek nationals, so the victims of brutal crimes, such as in this case, would go on suffering. We owe it to them to heed the old warning that justice delayed is justice denied.

I want to come on to one final relevant point that was hinted at by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr Redwood) earlier: the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. This pass was sold when the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown) signed the Lisbon treaty. Our opt-out only applies to those policing and criminal justice measures that precede it. Since the Lisbon treaty came into effect, the UK has signed up to 90 new justice and home affairs measures, accepting the jurisdiction of the ECJ over them. We face the same choice today: whether to accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ over the small package of measures that we wish to remain part of from 1 December, so that our law enforcement agencies can continue to use those powers to fight crime and keep us safe; or reject those measures and accept the risk to public protection that that involves. That invidious choice is the result of a poor treaty, badly negotiated. In my mind, however, it is clear: this is a vote about law and order, not a vote about Europe.

I am certainly no enthusiast for the European Court of Justice. The ECJ should not have the final say over matters such as substantive criminal law or our international relations. That is why, as I indicated earlier, 100 or so measures the Government have opted out of, and will not rejoin, include more than 20 minimum standards

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1238

measures on sensitive matters such as racism and xenophobia. It is why we have opted out of, and will not rejoin, the EU-US extradition agreement. It is this place that should have the final say over our laws on these matters, and Her Majesty’s Government should be able to renegotiate such arrangements as they see fit.

I understand the concerns raised about the European Court of Justice in the many debates we have had on protocol 36. I believe we must look again at this matter in our renegotiations with the European Union before the referendum that a Conservative Government will deliver by the end of 2017. In the meantime, however, we must act in the national interest to keep the British public safe. We have therefore exercised an opt-out, which it seems no one else would have exercised. We have brought back more than 100 justice and home affairs powers that had already been signed away. We have listened to those who work tirelessly to keep us safe on which of the tools at their disposal are vital to their important work. We have gone to Europe and negotiated a good deal for the United Kingdom. We have won support from the Commission and other member states to remain part of a smaller package of measures in the national interest. Now we must vote to transpose those measures that require transposing and, in doing so, vote to seal the deal.

6.36 pm

Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford) (Lab): Today we have had a completely shambolic debate. The Home Secretary has given an excellent account of why we should support policies that are not on the Order Paper. She has given an excellent defence of the European arrest warrant, which is not on the Order Paper. I agree with her that the European arrest warrant is immensely important. It helps us to fight crime. It helps the police, in Britain and across Europe, to stop murderers, traffickers and sex offenders. It helps us to deport more than 1,000 suspected foreign criminals primarily to their own countries to face justice. Given that there is a majority in this House in favour of the European arrest warrant, why on earth are we not voting for it? Why the sophistry? Why the games? Why the dancing around? It is just baffling that the Home Secretary is playing games with something so important to criminal justice and to the fight against international crime and terrorism.

The draft regulations cover a series of measures—the 11 measures that are on the Order Paper—and we support them. The confiscation orders, freezing orders on criminal records, the European supervision order, the joint investigation teams—we support them all. We support the measures on confiscation and freezing orders because no country in the EU should become a safe haven for criminal assets. We should be able to confiscate them wherever they are held. We support the two measures on criminal records and conviction. Exchanged data on the conviction of EU nationals should be harnessed for us to identify, locate and stop EU criminals entering our country and committing crimes. We support the European supervision order as a vital reform to interact with the arrest warrant, because suspects awaiting trial should, if appropriate, be in their home state. We support the joint investigation teams because we saw with Operation Golf that co-operation in complex investigations means we can arrest 126 traffickers from across Europe and

10 Nov 2014 : Column 1239

safeguard vulnerable children not just in Britain but across the continent too. We support the prisoner transfer framework, because it makes it harder for other member states to refuse to take back their nationals from our prisons. We should have that co-operation in place.

We support the rest of the 35 measures that are not on the Order Paper—the measures we do not have a chance to demonstrate our support for and to vote for tonight. We saw, with the problem of foreign criminals entering in the UK, that the Schengen information system is also vital and necessary. We need Europol to support and co-ordinate cross-border investigations. We support closer co-operation on combating child abuse imagery, because with this crime there are no borders and the police need to work with police across Europe and across the world too. We support action to tackle football hooliganism across borders, and as we have made clear many times in the House, we particularly support the EAW. The Association of Chief Police Officers has described it as an essential weapon, and distinguished legal figures, including the former President of the Supreme Court, have argued that

“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.”

And they are right.

Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): Does the right hon. Lady believe that our country was a safe haven for foreign criminals before the EAW, and does she believe it is a safe haven now for foreign criminals from countries outside the EU?

Yvette Cooper: As the hon. Gentleman knows, there were cases before the introduction of the EAW when it took years to extradite suspects—for example, suspected terrorists back to France. We should not be in that situation. If we have people in our country wanted in France for serious crimes, particularly terrorists allegations, we should be able to deport them to face justice.

Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) (LD): Is not the important point that in a completely multilateral system we do not stand out, whereas if everybody else opted into the justice and home affairs measures and the EAW, and we alone stood outside, we would become a safe haven, because it would be much easier to stay in this country for extended periods than in any other EU state?

Yvette Cooper: The hon. Gentleman is right. It is suggested that we could arrange separate extradition treaties, but in the past when we did that, they took too long and caused immense problems. In the case of Rachid Ramda, the Algerian national arrested in the UK in connection with a terrorist attack on the Paris transport system, France sought extradition from the UK in 1995. The process was completed in 2005. That was when the EAW was not in place.