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Irish Republic (Extradition)

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Foreign Minister of the Irish Republic about the present arrangements for extradition between the two countries.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs discussed our concerns with the Irish Foreign Minister on 21 April.

Have arrangements for extradition improved or deteriorated since 15 November 1985? Would not arrangements for extradition and Anglo-Irish relations generally be improved if articles 2 and 3 were removed from the constitution of the Irish Republic?

The downturn in the success of extradition took place at about the turn of the year. I should not make the link with the Anglo-Irish Agreement that my hon. Friend implied in his question. I agree with his latter proposition.

With the approach of 1992 businesses will face greater harmonisation, as will water companies, farmers and financial institutions. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the only people who will not be affected by 1992 are terrorists? Does he agree that we should move towards a European treaty on extradition? Surely, instead of talking about monetary or political union, the intergovernmental conference should devote more time to the important question of extradition.

I agree with my hon. Friend. There is, of course, the European convention on the supression of terrorism. Recent events in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany show that there is ever-increasing practical and efficient co-operation between the partners of the Community against terrorism.