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European Arrest Warrant

Volume 614: debated on Monday 5 September 2016

10. What discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the UK’s continued participation in the European arrest warrant. (906088)

Co-operation between the UK and European Union member states has continued following the referendum result, including on European arrest warrants. Officials are exploring options for future co-operation arrangements once the UK has left the European Union. We will do what is necessary to keep people safe, but it would be wrong to set out unilateral positions before that negotiation has taken place.

But the Brexit Secretary has always campaigned for us to leave the European arrest warrant and so has the Foreign Secretary. Does the Home Secretary agree with them, or does she agree with her predecessor—now the Prime Minister—who, when we debated this in this House, said that 901 suspected serious criminals, including paedophiles, rapists and murderers, had been extradited either in or out of this country thanks to the European arrest warrant? Would it not be far better for her to say now that she will protect British people by making sure we remain within the European arrest warrant?

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that we on the Government Benches value the European arrest warrant. We know how important it has been in keeping people safe. When people voted to leave the European Union, they did not vote for a less safe country. We will make sure that, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, we protect people in a way that is as effective as with the European arrest warrant.

I, too, welcome the Home Secretary to her first questions, but I do hope we will get better answers than the ones we have just had from the Immigration Minister. I will give it one more go, Mr Speaker, this time on security.

Last week, in relation to discussions with the French Government on Calais, a senior Government source briefed The Times that the UK might withdraw co-operation on counter-terrorism if it does not get its way, referencing the Nice attack. At a time when France is facing an unprecedented terror threat, that is utterly crass. It is also counter-productive, as the terror networks that threaten France could have links here. Will the Home Secretary today distance herself from this insensitive threat, vow that there will be no repeat of it, and commit to maintaining the fullest co-operation with our EU counterparts and neighbours on counter-terrorism, including to maintaining our involvement in the European arrest warrant?

There is something completely derisory about the right hon. Gentleman trying to lecture the Government on security measures when we know how divided his shadow Front Bench is, with a leader of his party who refuses to defend this country, and a shadow Chancellor who calls for the disbandment of the police and does not support MI5. Government Members are absolutely clear that we will do what is right to support and protect this country. The right hon. Gentleman is right on one element: in my many conversations with European counterparts I always say to them that we will work with them, irrespective of Brexit, to ensure our joint security.