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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

News just in

Home Secretary Theresa May has just announced to the House of Commons that the UK has decided to opt in to negotiations on the European Investigation Order (EIO). It will give foreign police forces the right to request UK police to seek and share evidence on suspects. This clearly poses fundamental questions about safeguards for civil liberties and the new pressures it will place on police resources.

Let us first give May some credit for giving a statement in person and allowing questions to be put to her rather than issuing a mere written statement (She has done good work on parliamentary scrutiny of EU issues in the past). However, it should also be said that MPs have not previously had the chance to scrutinise the proposal either in the European Scrutiny Committee or in the House.

The truth is that, although May did her best to push the 'nothing to see here line', the Government cannot guarantee how the final directive will look until after negotiations with other member states and MEPs in the European Parliament, which under the Lisbon Treaty now have powers to co-decide in justice and home affairs.

May said that signing up to the directive did not present a loss of sovereignty. But John Redwood made the valid and important point that if the UK doesn't have the ability (which it doesn't) to opt out of the European Investigation Order if it ends up as something "different to what was advertised" after negotiations then this must imply a loss of sovereignty.

The Home Secretary admitted today that there are aspects of the current proposal the Government does not like. This will now be decided by qualified majority voting, meaning the UK is powerless to veto the EIO either if these unwanted elements are retained or if new and unforeseen amendments are added along the way.

This is not to mention the fact that, as a result of Lisbon, the European Court of Justice will have the power to make rulings on how the EIO is interpreted in the UK.

Given this Government's pledges to protect civil liberties and reduce bureaucracy in public services, such as the police, this is surely too big a gamble to take.

11 comments:

barry laughton said...

I am surprised at Theresa May. This is more powers for Europe from the citizens point of view Surely that is exactly what the conservative party clams to be against. Also if not so much DNA records were harvested in the UK (England in particular) perhaps the directive would be so onerous. Barry

Anonymous said...

Just proves the point you can't trust a politician promises promises before the election get lost after it
Stan Smith

barry laughton said...

Sorry, my previous comment should have said "not so onerous" A typo sorry"

rcoones102 said...

Well one more nail for the coffin of national sovereignty. The creep of 'ever closer union' is at hand. A bit more independence given away by the politicians in the UK. Didnt they use to call it treason?

Anonymous said...

Well one more nail for the coffin of national sovereignty. The creep of 'ever closer union' is at hand. A bit more indepence given away by the politicians in the UK. Didnt they use to call it treason?

Anonymous said...

Well one more nail for the coffin of national sovereignty. The creep of 'ever closer union' is at hand. A bit more indepence given away by the politicians in the UK. Didnt they use to call it treason?

Graham Spark said...

Contrary to the statement allegedly given by Theresa May, the UK has not decided to opt in to the negotiations on the European Investigation Order. The current Government, well, not even that, the present Cabinet has so decided, the People have not. We the People did not elect the Members of Parliament to surrender our Sovereignty. Indeed, David Cameron gave a pledge to take steps to recover Sovereignty already surrendered. In any event, no justification has been presented to Government and that is the least the electorate should accept

Chris said...

For Cameron read Blair - the talk appeals, the action over signing up to the EIO smells to high heaven!!

Norman said...

Yet again our sovereignty is being given away by the Government of the day. It is idiotic to sign a blank piece of paper when you have no idea if it may contain something which we cannot change after it is finally drafted. This confirms that like Blair, Cameron cannot be trusted. He pledged that the EU would no longer be able to impose laws on the UK. As a Brit I totally despair at the way our sovereignty is slowly, but surely being handed over to the EU.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Promises,promises.Are all politicians untrustworthy?

Anonymous said...

This again is a step too far.I agree with all the contributors comments. Either we see the whole completed draft, then decide, or we seek derogation.