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House of Commons Hansard
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European Arrest Warrant
28 February 2019
Volume 655
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2. If he will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of seeking changes to the political declaration for continued UK access to the European arrest warrant. [909488]

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The political declaration provides a basis for agreeing effective arrangements based on streamlining procedures and time limits for the surrender of suspected and convicted persons. That is the operational capability that we want to maintain which is currently in the European arrest warrant.

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It should be a source of great anxiety to all of us in this place that the four Children’s Commissioners of the UK have had to write to the Secretary of State expressing their worry about the lack of safety for our children and the clarity in the political declaration. It is very important that we get that clarity. The political declaration is vague, broad and, frankly, unconvincing. When will the Secretary of State give us clarity? How can we in good conscience vote for the deal when we do not know if we will be as safe afterwards?

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On this point, the hon. Gentleman and I agree: we want to be in a position where we can surrender those suspected of crimes in Europe to those countries and they can surrender those individuals to the UK. That is in our mutual interest. The political declaration does not rule that out and it is in both sides’ interest. After all, we surrendered far more people—around 8,000—to the EU over the last eight or nine years, compared with around 1,000 that were surrendered the other way. If there is a murderer or rapist who has committed an offence in Germany, the victims of that crime want to ensure that that perpetrator is surrendered there. We also want that to happen. That is why it is in both sides’ interest to reach an agreement.

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Of course Germany will not allow the extradition of people held there to the United Kingdom if we leave the European Union. Is the Secretary of State aware that Scotland Yard’s deputy assistant commissioner, Richard Martin, said yesterday that leaving on a no-deal would lead to a significant slowing down of police activities on such things as the European arrest warrant? What discussions has the Secretary of State had with the Home Office about what extra resources might be needed by the police to maintain the same level of security in a no-deal scenario as currently applies?

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There was a reason that I chose Germany out of the EU27 countries as my example. The point I was seeking to raise is that it is in both the EU’s and our interest to enhance our mutual security by having arrangements. Of course, the EU has other arrangements, but the most streamlined way of doing that is to have the operational capability, and that is the point that the Home Secretary is making.