MP Tom Brake has joined Lib Dem leader Tim Farron in publicly challenging Theresa May and the Government to ensure the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is a priority in Brexit negotiations.
Tom said, ‘The EAW has been used to secure justice for Robbie Hughes, the son of local resident Maggie Hughes. Robbie was attacked by British tourists whilst on holiday in Crete. The EAW was used to get his attackers back to Greece to face justice. Without the EAW, extradition could have dragged on for years.’
The EAW is another example of cross-border cooperation that the UK could be set to lose because of Brexit. Law enforcement agencies often stress how vital the EAW is to ensuring that criminals are prosecuted. Once an EAW is issued, it requires another member state to arrest and transfer a criminal suspect back to where they committed the original crime.
Before the EAW, extradition would take on average a year to complete, whereas since its introduction, this has been cut to an average of 48 days. This clearly shows the EAW has cut down costs and red tape. The EAW has facilitated the speedy extradition of 5,000 criminals from Britain to Europe in the last five years.
The EAW has also brought 675 suspected or wanted individuals back to Britain to face justice, including terror suspects and murderers. Leaving the EAW could jeopardise the UK’s ability to police across borders and make it easier for criminals to go unpunished.
The Lib Dems will be putting maximum pressure on the Government to prioritise British people’s safety and security by staying in the EAW.