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Reasons for the UK to leave the EU keep piling up – the EU Arrest Warrant

I have been familiar with some of the details of a Romanian case, which has taken a shocking turn, and it highlights the mess of the European Union’s Arrest Warrant. Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle,  writes about the case. Even the more cynical out there will be shocked at the brazenness of the Romanian government in this case. And it raises a wider issue about governments co-operating to move alleged suspects from A to B and sharing data with one another about their citizens.

Consider a new anti-tax evasion regime called the Common Reporting Standard, under which certain governments swap data to catch alleged tax dodgers. With CRS, there is a presumption that the countries involved can move information around and that this will not compromise legitimate financial privacy. All I can say is “good luck with that”. Abuses will occur. (Governments in recent times have been happy to obtain data from Swiss banks via thieves, for example.)

The UK has an extradition treaty with the US and this has caused controversy at times because of the alleged lack of a need for a prima facie suspicion of guilt to be proven against a person before extradition (instead, a country has to show “probable cause”, which waters the test down marvellously). What may be a crime in the US, for existence (running an internet gambling site, for example) isn’t in the UK. And so on.

The Romanian case in question here is particularly noxious to a sense of justice because of the heavy-handed behaviour of Romania. Its attempt to bully news organisations that are covering controversies, such as arms dealing, is also outrageous – such an attack on freedom of the press hardly meets the sort of test one would have supposed is necessary for a country to be a member of the EU at all. And as long as this arrest warrant remains, I see zero chance of a country such as Turkey joining the EU.

I’d like to know what the UK government’s view is of the case, and of whether any MPs have taken this matter on. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is not exactly a poster girl for civil liberty, but even she might be shocked at what is going on here. (When she was Home Secretary, she blocked an extradition of a person to the US.)

One way for Mrs May to prove that “Brexit means Brexit” is to ensure that the UK removes itself from the EU arrest warrant process immediately. The reasons why I am so glad the UK voted to get out of the whole wretched structure continue.

Addendum: As an aside, it is also worth noting that these actions by Romania are often typical of certain regimes seeking to crush alleged corruption. Much of the media will applaud this; I even spoke to a fund manager about Romania, who applauded the steps that the country has made against corruption. But as we have seen in countries such as China, anti-corruption sometimes means little more than score-settling or persecution of political opponents or those who are deemed to be embarrassing. (And needless to say, the ultimate case of this is Putin’s Russia, and Romania is to some extent under Russian influence.)

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9 comments to Reasons for the UK to leave the EU keep piling up – the EU Arrest Warrant

  • Bexie

    Roger Gale has highlighted some of the abuses.

  • Paul Marks

    Very good J.P. – I have nothing to add.

  • mickc

    The comments to the Pollard article are important.

    It seems Romania has not sought an arrest but information.

    And the “documentary” was blatant rubbish.

    Having said which, of course we should scrap the EAW..May won’t, naturally.

  • The comments to the Pollard article are important.

    The comments are rubbish and are the same nationalist trolls over and over again, not just on the Pollard article but on this topic in other places too.

  • Mary Contrary

    May had a chance to opt us out of the EAW as Home Secretary, and chose to opt us back in. It’s one of the things that makes me most worried about our chances for a meaningful Brexit.

  • What may be a crime in the US, for existence (running an internet gambling site, for example) isn’t in the UK.”

    And vice versa. Imagine a Brit (legally resident in the U.S.) selling a gun to another person without any documentation…

  • mickc

    No Perry, the comments are not rubbish, they are not by nationalist trolls, saying otherwise doesn’t make it so.
    The report was piss poor, and deserves all the flak it got.

  • Wrong as usual mickc. And the issue is not “flak”, it is the risk posed by a state deciding a report it does not like is a “threat to national security” and then extraditing the journalist it dislikes to stand trial.

  • mickc

    No, Perry, it seems you do not even read what you malign.
    Some of the comments point out that Romania has not sought an AEW but information. My own short comment makes the point….perhaps you could read it.
    I know perfectly well the dangers of the AEW, which is why I said the AEW should be scrapped. Funnily enough, I said it in my comment…if you read it, which seemingly you didn’t.
    Making a case with piss poor exaggerated evidence is not a good way to win a debate, whether it is about “arms dealers” or trying to get rid of the AEW.
    2/10….see me after school when extra work on logical argument will be given..