The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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The Extradition Bill

Robert Oulds

The Extradition Bill, currently being debated in the House of Lords, which encompasses the EU Arrest Warrant is a prime example of this Government’s and the EU’s contempt for civil liberties.

This Bill will create many new crimes, such as the vague legal notions of racism and xenophobia. It also undermines long-standing principles in English Law that guarantee the rights and liberties of the British people. These are:

  •     The need for dual criminality - if an extradition is demanded it has to be for a crime that is an offence in the nation that receives that request.
  •     Suspects can only be prosecuted for the specific offences for which they have been extradited.
  •     There can be no extradition for political offences.

What is worse is that foreign Police and Judiciary from alien legal systems, which have less regard for the rights of the individual and little for the presumption of innocence, will have Jurisdiction over British citizens who will have no recourse to the Courts in Britain or the Police.

Another threat to freedom is the expansion of the powers of Europol. This will be transformed into a body resembling a mix of both the FBI and the CIA – without the checks and balances. Europol, with a jurisdiction over ever citizen and subject in the European Union, will have powers worthy of any Police State.

  •     It will be completely unaccountable to the Governments of member states and any democratic institution, even the European Parliament.
  •     Its officers, unlike Britain’s police, are immune from prosecution should they commit a criminal offence in the course of their duties.
  •     Europol will also have prevalence over our own security services, which shall be relegated to information gathering for this new hybrid organisation.

Tony Blair’s Government is steadily signing Britain up to the illiberal and authoritarian Unitary European Superstate, where civil liberties do not apply. This must be vigorously opposed.

- ENDS -

Lord Lamont of Lerwick who is Co-Chairman of the Bruges Group is actively opposing this Bill in the House of Lords.