Mike O’Brien has called upon Dan Byles, the MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, to support his own government in the upcoming vote on the European Arrest Warrant.  The Home Secretary is trying to get Parliament to extend the European Arrest warrant but is struggling to convince many Conservative MPs.

Mike O’Brien served as a Home Office Minister for four years and later as a Foreign Office Minister was an early supporter of the EAW when it was negotiated in 2002-3. It was agreed in January 2004.

Mike says, 

“It may seem surprising that I am calling upon Dan Byles to support his own government, but I am. 
“The Tories are divided over Europe.  Some Tory MPs say they will vote against the European Arrest Warrant, whilst Ministers support it. In the past Dan Byles has voted against his own government on European issues. The Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones always votes with the government, but Mr Byles is not so loyal.  About 100 Tory MPs are expected to vote against it. The government will need to rely on Labour votes to support the European Arrest Warrant. I call on Mr Byles to support it too.
“Theresa May the Home Secretary was right to say that if Britain doesn’t continue to support the European Arrest Warrant then Britain will become a magnet for European criminals. They will come here because the European arrest warrant won’t apply here.  
“Labour will support the government her position to remain part of the European Arrest Warrant. Last year over 1,000 foreign criminals were deported under the European Arrest Warrant. These were issued most often for drug trafficking, murder, fraud, child sex offences and rape. We need to cooperate with partners in Europe to ensure people who have committed these serious crimes do not get away with it.” 

The Home Secretary recently strongly came out in favour of the European Arrest Warrant and is fighting for the UK to stay in it. Senior UK police officers have supported the European Arrest Warrant because it enables them to deport foreign criminals without going through a lengthy extradition process. Removing it would make it more difficult for the UK to bring wanted British citizens who have committed crimes here to face trail. Last year, 14 British citizens were brought back to Britain.  It would also make it easier for criminals to come to the UK to evade arrest.  

There have been some high-profile successes for the European Arrest Warrant. Fugitive teacher Jeremy Forrest, who fled to France with a schoolgirl, was extradited to England on an European Arrest Warrant issued in September 2012.   In 2005 an EAW enabled the UK to quickly extradite from Italy a fugitive bomber, Hussain Osman, who with accomplices had attempted to carry out a terror attack in London. In 2012 Jason McKay was extradited from Poland within two weeks for murdering his partner. Under the old extradition arrangements, it would have taken several years to get him back to face justice for a murdered woman

The European Arrest Warrant operates EU-wide and replaced separate extradition arrangements between the EU member states. The European Arrest Warrant was introduced in January 2004, and was prompted by the international anti-terror drive after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

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