Farage says he agrees with Barnier on European Arrest Warrant
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The bloc-wide scheme commits all participating nations to arrest and transfer a criminal suspect or sentenced person to the issuing state once a warrant has been issued. However, Jayne Adye, director of the pro-Brexit campaign group Get Britain Out, said the UK’s decision to remain a signatory came with a heavy price – because under the requirements of the EAW, any EU prosecutor can order a UK judge to have anyone in Britain arrested and extradited for lengthy detention in the country where a crime is alleged to have been committed – with little or no evidence being revealed, often for many months or years.
The European Arrest Warrant paves the way for a direct threat to UK sovereignty
She explained: “If a country allows a foreign authority to target anyone on its territory – and have them forcibly transported to a prison outside its national jurisdiction, with no questions asked – then that country is not an independent sovereign state, but a colony.
“The European Arrest Warrant paves the way for a direct threat to UK sovereignty as an independent nation, with our judges and legal system treated as a doormat, to be walked all over by foreign courts.
“If we have really ‘Taken Back Control’ then this should not be the case.”
It was not a question of ending cooperation between legal authorities, but rather of protecting the rights of UK citizens who ran the risk of being unreasonably extradited for detention outside of the UK, based on minimal evidence, Ms Adye stressed.
She added: “If serious crimes have been committed and evidence can be provided, then there should be no reason why traditional extradition orders cannot be used.”
Referring to events in 2018, Ms Adye said: “We have already seen the European Arrest Warrant used to send political messages within the EU, following the arrest of the former President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont on charges of sedition, in his attempts to hold a referendum on the independence of the region from Spain.
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“Puigdemont is a pro-Catalan-independence politician and journalist from Spain, who, since 2019 has served as a Member of the European Parliament.
“What is to stop such a warrant being issued against certain UK political leaders, if enemies inside the EU can find grounds on which to start an investigation?”
With Mr Johnson having reshuffled his Cabinet last month, Ms Adye said: “Dominic Raab has now taken up his role as the Secretary of State for Justice and as Lord Chancellor, in a situation where he must show his talent and commitment to reform.
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“The European Arrest Warrant is a prime example of an area where there is an excellent opportunity to deliver meaningful changes which will back up the Government’s promises to ‘Get Brexit Done’.”
She further pointed out that Mr Raab had direct experience of the issues created by the EAW with a constituent of his – Colin Dines, a retired Judge – being arrested by British Police acting on a European Arrest Warrant.
She added: “Mr Dines faced months of imprisonment abroad on flimsy evidence in a case against him which eventually collapsed – he only avoided extradition because of a heart condition which worsened at the time.
“Mr Raab campaigned firmly against the EAW and the extradition back in 2010 and in the years which have followed, saying the case stuck ‘not only in my memory, but in my throat’.”
Indeed, Mr Raab felt sufficiently strongly on the issue to pen an op-ed for the Mail on Sunday four years after that headlined: “UK must opt out of this Kafkaesque web of injustice.”
Ms Adye said: “So, will he now do something to bring about change to make sure no other UK citizen faces the same threat?
“Or were his earlier words all just hot air?
“How is it any UK Government is willing to allow a foreign court the right to summon and detain its own citizens, with minimal legal protections or safeguards?
“We see the USA oppose signing up to foreign courts for this very reason, and they are exactly right to do so.”
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