Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

European Arrest Warrant

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Anneliese has attacked the Tories shambolic performance in parliament where MPs were led to believe they would vote on the European Arrest Warrant.

When it transpired that MPs would be allowed to vote on just 11 of the 35 European justice areas which the government wanted to opt back into there was widespread outrage, and the government only narrowly avoided a humiliating defeat. It is now unclear when and whether the UK will opt back in to the Arrest Warrant, potentially leaving the UK in the invidious position of being a light-touch regime for criminals across Europe.

Anneliese supports the UK opting back into the European Arrest Warrant because the European Arrest Warrant not only stops criminals being able to evade justice by travelling abroad, but also prevents the UK from becoming a haven for those who are wanted for crimes in other European countries. Last year, over 1,000 foreign suspects were deported under the European Arrest Warrant -- with warrants most often being issued for extremely serious crimes such as murder, child sex offences, rape and drug trafficking.

Anneliese said: "Cross-border crime is a serious issue across Europe, with over 3,600 organised crime groups active in the EU. The European Arrest Warrant is one of the most effective ways we can address this problem as it means that those involved in serious crime can be extradited quickly and effectively, and at a much lower cost to member states involved.

"Before the European Arrest Warrant was introduced, extradition took on average of one year, but under the European Arrest Warrant, the average time for extradition is only 48 days. There can be no doubt that opting back into the European Arrest Warrant is the right thing to do. The duplicitous and undemocratic behaviour displayed by the Conservatives last night in attempting to prevent MPs from voting on this is unacceptable. We need clarity on exactly when and how the UK will opt back in- otherwise the only people thanking us will be organised criminals"

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