Amendment proposed: No. 1, in page 30, line 34, leave out
'falls within the European framework list'
'constitutes terrorism'.—[Mr. Nick Hawkins.]
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 140, Noes 352.243
|Division No. 135]||[5:25 pm|
|Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)||Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)|
|Ancram, rh Michael||Brady, Graham|
|Arbuthnot, rh James||Brazier, Julian|
|Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)||Browning, Mrs Angela|
|Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)||Burns, Simon|
|Bacon, Richard||Burnside, David|
|Barker, Gregory||Cameron, David|
|Baron, John (Billericay)||Cash, William|
|Bellingham, Henry||Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)|
|Beresford, Sir Paul||Chope, Christopher|
|Blunt, Crispin||Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Boswell, Tim||Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey|
|Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)||Collins, Tim|
|Cormack, Sir Patrick||Mercer, Patrick|
|Cran, James (Beverley)||Moss, Malcolm|
|Curry, rh David||Murrison, Dr Andrew|
|Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)||Norman, Archie|
|O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)|
|Djanogly, Jonathan||Osborne, George (Tatton)|
|Duncan, Alan (Rutland)||Ottaway, Richard|
|Duncan, Peter (Galloway)||Page, Richard|
|Duncan Smith, rh Iain||Paice, James.|
|Evans, Nigel||Paterson, Owen|
|Fabricant, Michael||Pickles, Eric|
|Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)||Prisk, Mark (Hertford)|
|Flight, Howard||Redwood, rh John|
|Flook, Adrian||Robathan, Andrew|
|Forth, rh Eric||Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)|
|Fox, Dr. Liam|
|Francois, Mark||Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)|
|Gale, Roger (N Thanet)||Roe, Mrs Marion|
|Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)||Rosindell, Andrew|
|Goodman, Paul||Sayeed, Jonathan|
|Gray, James (N Wilts)||Selous, Andrew|
|Grayling, Chris||Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian|
|Green, Damian (Ashford)||Shepherd, Richard|
|Greenway, John||Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)|
|Hague, rh William||Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)|
|Hammond, Philip||Soames, Nicholas|
|Hawkins, Nick||Spelman, Mrs Caroline|
|Hayes, John (S Holland)||Spicer, Sir Michael|
|Heald, Oliver||Spink, Bob (Castle Point)|
|Heathcoat-Amory, rh David||Spring, Richard|
|Hendry, Charles||Stanley, rh Sir John|
|Hogg, rh Douglas||Streeter, Gary|
|Horam, John (Orpington)||Swayne, Desmond|
|Howard, rh Michael||Swire, Hugo (E Devon)|
|Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)||Syms, Robert|
|Hunter, Andrew||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Jack, rh Michael||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Jackson, Robert (Wantage)||Taylor, John (Solihull)|
|Jenkin, Bernard||Taylor, Sir Teddy|
|Johnson, Boris (Henley)||Tredinnick, David|
|Key, Robert (Salisbury)||Trend, Michael|
|Kirkbride, Miss Julie||Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)|
|Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)||Tyrie, Andrew|
|Lansley, Andrew||Waterson, Nigel|
|Leigh, Edward||Watkinson, Angela|
|Letwin, rh Oliver||Whittingdale, John|
|Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)||Wiggin Bill|
|Lidington, David||Willetts, David|
|Lilley, rh Peter||Wilshire, David|
|Loughton, Tim||Winterton, Ann (Congleton)|
|Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)||Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)|
|Mackay, rh Andrew|
|Maclean, rh David||Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)|
|McLoughlin, Patrick||Young, rh Sir George|
|Maude, rh Francis||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian||Mr. Mark Hoban and|
|May, Mrs Theresa||Mrs. Cheryl Gillan|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Baker, Norman|
|Adams, Irene (Paisley N)||Banks, Tony|
|Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)||Battle, John|
|Alexander, Douglas||Beckett, rh Margaret|
|Allan, Richard||Beith, rh A J.|
|Allen, Graham||Benn, Hilary|
|Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)||Benton, Joe (Bootle)|
|Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)||Blackman, Liz|
|Blears, Ms Hazel|
|Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary||Blizzard, Bob|
|Atkins, Charlotte||Borrow, David|
|Austin, John||Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)|
|Bailey, Adrian||Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)|
|Baird, Vera||Bradshaw, Ben|
|Brake, Tom (Carshalton)||Drown, Ms Julia|
|Brennan, Kevin||Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth|
|Brooke, Mrs Annette L||Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)|
|Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)||Edwards, Huw|
|Ellman, Mrs Louise|
|Brown, Russell (Dumfries)||Etherington, Bill|
|Bryant, Chris||Ewing, Annabelle|
|Buck, Ms Karen||Farrelly, Paul|
|Burgon, Colin||Fisher, Mark|
|Burnett, John||Fitzpatrick, Jim|
|Burnham, Andy||Flint, Caroline|
|Burstow, Paul||Flynn, Paul (Newport W)|
|Byers, rh Stephen||Follett, Barbara|
|Cable, Dr. Vincent||Foster, rh Derek|
|Caborn, rh Richard||Foster, Don (Bath)|
|Cairns, David||Foster, Michael (Worcester)|
|Calton, Mrs Patsy||Francis, Dr. Hywel|
|Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)||Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Gardiner, Barry|
|Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)||George, Andrew (St. Ives)|
|Carmichael, Alistair||Gerrard, Neil|
|Casale, Roger||Gibson, Dr. Ian|
|Caton, Martin||Gidley, Sandra|
|Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)||Godsiff, Roger|
|Challen, Colin||Goggins, Paul|
|Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)||Green, Matthew (Ludlow)|
|Chaytor, David||Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)|
|Chidgey, David||Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)|
|Clapham, Michael||Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)|
|Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)||Hamilton, David (Midlothian)|
|Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)||Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)|
|Clark, Paul (Gillingham)||Hanson, David|
|Clarke, rh Charles (Norwich S)||Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)|
|Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)|
|Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)||Harvey, Nick|
|Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)||Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)|
|Coffey, Ms Ann||Healey, John|
|Cohen, Harry||Heath, David|
|Connarty, Michael||Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)|
|Cooper, Yvette||Hendrick, Mark|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Hepburn, Stephen|
|Corston, Jean||Heppell, John|
|Cotter, Brian||Hermon, Lady|
|Cousins, Jim||Hesford, Stephen|
|Cranston, Ross||Heyes, David|
|Crausby, David||Hill, Keith (Streatham)|
|Cruddas, Jon||Hinchliffe, David|
|Cryer, Ann (Keighley)||Holmes, Paul|
|Cryer, John (Hornchurch)||Hope, Phil (Corby)|
|Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)||Hopkins, Kelvin|
|Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)|
|Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)||Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)|
|Cunningham, Tony (Workington)|
|Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire||Howells, Dr. Kim|
|Davey, Edward (Kingston)||Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)|
|Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)||Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)|
|David, Wayne||Humble, Mrs Joan|
|Davidson, Ian||Hurst, Alan (Braintree)|
|Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)||Hutton, rh John|
|Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)||Iddon, Dr. Brian|
|Davis, rh Terry (B'ham Hodge H)||Illsley, Eric|
|Dawson, Hilton||Irranca-Davies, Huw|
|Dean, Mrs Janet||Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)|
|Dismore, Andrew||Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)|
|Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)||Jamieson, David|
|Dobson, rh Frank||Jenkins, Brian|
|Donohoe, Brian H.||Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)|
|Doughty, Sue||Jones, Helen (Warrington N)|
|Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)||Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)|
|Drew, David (Stroud)||Jones, Kevan (N Durham)|
|Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)||O'Neill, Martin|
|Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)||Öpik, Lembit|
|Kaufman, rh Gerald||Organ, Diana|
|Keen, Alan (Feltham)||Owen, Albert|
|Keen, Ann (Brentford)||Palmer, Dr. Nick|
|Keetch, Paul||Perham, Linda|
|Kemp, Fraser||Picking, Anne|
|Kidney, David||Pickthall, Colin|
|Kilfoyle, Peter||Pike, Peter (Burnley)|
|King, Andy (Rugby)||Pollard, Kerry|
|King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)||Pond, Chris (Gravesham)|
|Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)|
|Kirkwood, Sir Archy||Pound, Stephen|
|Kumar, Dr. Ashok||Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)|
|Ladyman, Dr. Stephen|
|Lamp, Norman||Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)|
|Lammy, David||Prescott, rh John|
|Lawrence, Mrs Jackie||Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)|
|Laws, David (Yeovil)|
|Lazarowicz, Mark||Primarolo, rh Dawn|
|Levitt, Tom (High Peak)||Prosser, Gwyn|
|Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)||Purchase, Ken|
|Lewis, Terry (Worsley)||Purnell, James|
|Liddell, rh Mrs Helen||Quinn, Lawrie|
|Linton, Martin||Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)|
|Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)||Raynsford, rh Nick|
|Llwyd, Elfyn||Reed, Andy (Loughborough)|
|Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)||Rendel, David|
|Luke, Iain (Dundee E)||Robertson, Angus (Moray)|
|Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)||Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)|
|McCafferty, Chris||Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)|
|McCartney, rh Ian|
|McDonagh, Siobhain||Rooney, Terry|
|MacDonald, Calum||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|McDonnell, John||Roy, Frank (Motherwell)|
|MacDougall, John||Ruddock, Joan|
|McGuire, Mrs Anne||Russell, Bob (Colchester)|
|McIsaac, Shona||Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)|
|McKechin, Ann||Salmond, Alex|
|MacShane, Denis||Salter, Martin|
|McWalter, Tony||Sanders, Adrian|
|McWilliam, John||Savidge, Malcolm|
|Mahmood, Khalid||Sawford, Phil|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Mallaber, Judy||Shaw, Jonathan|
|Mann, John (Bassetlaw)||Sheerman, Barry|
|Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)||Sheridan, Jim|
|Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)||Shipley, Ms Debra|
|Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)||Singh, Marsha|
|Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)||Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)|
|Martlew, Eric||Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)|
|Meacher, rh Michael||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|Meale, Alan (Mansfield)||Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)|
|Michael, rh Alun||Soley, Clive|
|Milburn, rh Alan||Southworth, Helen|
|Miller, Andrew||Starkey, Dr. Phyllis|
|Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Moffatt, Laura||Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)|
|Morgan, Julie||Stinchcombe, Paul|
|Morris, rh Estelle||Stoate, Dr. Howard|
|Mountford, Kali||Strang, rh Dr. Gavin|
|Mudie, George||Stuart, Ms Gisela|
|Mullin, Chris||Stunell, Andrew|
|Munn, Ms Meg||Sutcliffe, Gerry|
|Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)||Tami, Mark (Alyn)|
|Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)||Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Naysmith, Dr. Doug||Taylor, David (NW Leics)|
|Oaten, Mark (Winchester)||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Olner,Bill||Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)|
|Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)||White, Brian|
|Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)||Whitehead, Dr. Alan|
|Thurso, John||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Tipping, Paddy||Williams rh Alan (Swansea W)|
|Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)||Williams Betty (Conwy)|
|Tonge, Dr. Jenny||Williams Hywel (Caernarfon)|
|Touhig, Don (IsIwyn)||Williams Roger (Brecon)|
|Trickett, Jon||Wills, Michael|
|Truswell, Paul||Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)|
|Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)|
|Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)||Wishart, Pete|
|Wood, Mike (Batley)|
|Turner, Neil (Wigan)||Woodward, Shaun|
|Twigg, Derek (Halton)||Wray, Jsmes (Glasgow Baillieston)|
|Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)|
|Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)||Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)|
|Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)|
|Vis, Dr. Rudi||Wright, David (Telford)|
|Walley, Ms Joan||Wright, Tony (Cannock)|
|Ward, Claire||Wyatt, Derek|
|Wareing, Robert N.||Younger-Ross, Richard|
|Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Webb, Steve (Northavon)||Mr. Nick Ainger and|
|Weir, Michael||Dan Norris|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Remaining Government amendments agreed to.
§ Order for Third Reading read.5.36 pm
§ Mr. Bob Ainsworth
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
Now that we have reached the final stage of scrutiny of the Bill in this House, it is appropriate that we should reflect on some of the key points that have emerged from our deliberations. The first point that I want to put on record is that nobody has sought to defend the United Kingdom's present extradition system. That has not been a point of contention between us. It simply cannot be right that fugitives can frustrate the system by bringing appeal after appeal, raising the same point each time, with the result that their cases can take years to resolve. The case for reform is overwhelming.
The second point of note is that the proposals in part 2, which deal with extradition outside the European Union and away from the European arrest warrant, have been broadly welcomed. I am grateful to the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats for their support for that part of the Bill. Similarly, the provisions that spell out for the first time how we should make outgoing extradition requests, and those that deal with the powers available to the police in extradition cases, have proved largely uncontentious. We have hardly had to deal with them at all during the passage of the Bill. It is fair to say, therefore, that the bulk of our debate has centred on part 1, and it is on that that we ought to concentrate once more, as we try to make a case for the part 1 proposals and the European arrest warrant.
Given that the status quo is untenable in an age in which travel around Europe is so easy and cheap, I would ask the Opposition to tell the House how they would address the issue of extradition in those circumstances. Are they in favour of the full-scale harmonisation of our criminal justice systems? No, they are not—as they have confirmed and as we all recognise. They are clearly equally not in favour of mutual recognition. Let us be quite clear that, from my point of 244 view, those are the only two realistic options. The Government are quite clear that mutual recognition is the way forward. In Committee, the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins) repeatedly described part 1 as "draconian". No matter how many times the hon. Gentleman repeats that claim, it will not be true.
I shall set out the safeguards in part 1. Anyone who is subject to a European arrest warrant will be arrested by a British law enforcement officer. That was always the case and I hope that the Opposition have the good grace to accept that it is now in no doubt, as we have made it explicit in the Bill. They can no longer make spurious claims that foreign police officers could make such arrests.
Once a person has been arrested, he must be brought before a UK judge as soon as possible. At the initial hearing, the judge will check that the person is indeed the subject of the extradition warrant and decide whether to grant bail. For the first time in extradition cases, there will be a presumption in favour of bail.
The main extradition hearing, at which the judge will consider whether extradition should take place, will be held soon after the initial hearing. Extradition is barred if the double jeopardy rule applies and if there are no specialty arrangements in the requesting state, or if the extradition request has been made for the purpose of punishing a fugitive on the grounds of race, nationality, religion or political opinion. No country that retains the death penalty will be accepted under our part 1 arrangements.
§ Lady Hermon
I apologise to the Minister and to the House for not being present at the beginning of the debate.
The Minister referred to the double jeopardy rule. Will he kindly elaborate on what the Government now mean by double jeopardy? As he knows, the Criminal Justice Bill, which was in Committee at the same time as this Bill, makes huge changes to the double jeopardy rule. What does that rule mean in the context of the Extradition Bill? Does it mean that new and compelling evidence will be taken into account, or not?
§ Mr. Ainsworth
The measures that apply to extradition will be those that apply in our justice system. If changes are made to the double jeopardy rule they will be reflected in our extradition arrangements. At present, the double jeopardy rule applies. If Parliament decides to amend it, that will have ramifications for extradition.
Extradition cannot take place if it would be unjust or oppressive by virtue of a fugitive's mental or physical condition. Most important, it cannot take place when it would breach a fugitive's rights under the European convention on human rights. The Bill provides an impressive package of measures and it seems to me that only a perverse definition of "draconian" could apply to them.
Ultimately, the difference between the Government and the Opposition comes down to dual criminality. That matter has been at the base of all, or almost all, our discussions. I make no apology for the fact that the Bill removes the dual criminality requirement in certain limited circumstances where a request has come from an EU country.
245 No one will be extradited for conduct that occurs in the UK that is not contrary to our law. I reiterate that, because people constantly allege that that is not true: nobody can be extradited for conduct that occurs in this country that is not contrary to British law. What is the great constitutional principle that holds that we should not extradite a person who breaks the law of another EU country just because we happen not to have an exact equivalent offence in UK law? We are talking about EU countries which are mature democracies and ECHR signatories.
If a person committed an offence in another EU country and was arrested there, we should not object to them being put on trial. Indeed, the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maples) confirmed that in the Standing Committee on 9 January 2003, at column 36. So why should the fact that such people manage to cross a border before being apprehended allow them to evade justice? Why should the UK be a sanctuary for those who have committed crimes in another EU member states? Of course, that cuts both ways.
As the then Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen said on Second Reading, not all our EU partners recognise the same serious offences as those on the UK statute book. If people come to this country and commit one of those offences, we would expect to be able to put them on trial. We would certainly not accept the excuse that the conduct happened not to be an offence in their home country. Equally important, we would want to be able to extradite such people to stand trial if they had managed to get away and leave our country. The partial abolition of the dual criminality requirement will allow us to do exactly that.
As long as the Opposition remain wedded to the idea that there must be absolute dual criminality in the EU, it follows that they are effectively suggesting that people should be able to come here and commit offences such as incitement to racial hatred, or indulge in fraudulent trading with complete impunity. [Interruption.] Well, so long as such people can cross the frontier before our police apprehend them, that is exactly what Conservatives Members are saying. I do not know what their justification is, but I suppose they think that it is a price worth paying that people should be allowed to commit those offences with impunity. That has almost come out on a few occasions. Those are the consequences of the line that they are taking, and it is no good their trying to deny it. That is exactly what would happen.
Finally, I wish to say why the Government have decided to remove the dual criminality requirement for all list offences that attract a one-year penalty in the requesting state, rather than just for those that attract a three-year penalty—the minimum required under the framework decision.
The basic threshold for extradition has been set at 12 months imprisonment for more than 100 years, and no one has seriously suggested that we should change that. However, if it is accepted that 12 months is the threshold for extradition, it would not be sensible to set a different threshold for the application of the dual criminality rule. That would be a recipe for confusion. Moreover, if the Conservative party takes the view that dual criminality is an important and necessary safeguard to prevent injustice when dealing with requests from other EU 246 countries, that safeguard should apply not only to those offences that attract penalties of one to three years, but to more serious offences where the person concerned could face a much longer prison sentence. It would be illogical to impose a dual criminality requirement at the lower end of the offence scale, but not at the upper end.
The plain fact is that the European arrest warrant is a worthwhile measure. It will enhance co-operation between European slates. It offers very real advantages to the United Kingdom and law-abiding UK citizens. We will be able to bring back more speedily those accused of serious crimes in the UK. No longer will some of our European partners be able to avoid extraditing their own nationals. It is the only mechanism available to encourage countries such as Austria to be prepared to extradite their own nationals. They are not prepared to do so currently, which can detract from our ability to offer justice to the victims of crime in our country.
No longer will those countries be able to refuse to extradite for fiscal offences. No longer will they be able to refuse to extradite where their statutes of limitation have expired. All of those real weaknesses in the current extradition arrangements have caused us real difficulties. Criminals have not been slow to exploit them. The introduction of the European arrest warrant will sweep away those loopholes.
The Bill that will leave the House is better than the one that entered it: the House agreed earlier to a number of changes. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South and the other members of the Home Affairs Committee for the considerable effort that they have put into scrutinising the Bill. I am also grateful to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins), other Conservative Members who served on the Standing Committee, the hon. Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr. Burnett) and my hon. Friends who served on it.
This is an important Bill. It will ensure the swift and efficient return of those who are subject to extradition while safeguarding the rights of all such people. It will mean that our extradition arrangements will move from the 19th century framework, which is totally unacceptable and which no one defends, into the 21st century where they belong. It gives me great pleasure to commend the Bill to the House.
§ Mr. Letwin
I thank the Minister for the significant progress that was made, not by me, of course, but by my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins), the Minister himself and others in Committee. Clearly, some of the technical deficiencies in the Bill from part 2 onwards were altered and removed, which is much to the Minister's credit. I am particularly glad that the change to the Bill that was required, as I noted in my speech on Second Reading, to ensure that a British police officer would be involved in any arrest has been made today.
The Minister is right that the Bill, from part 2 onwards, could command support. We are now on the threshold of the Bill moving to another place, however, and he will be aware that we will ask our colleagues in the Lords—with considerable support, I suspect, from 247 other parts of the House—to fight sustained campaign radically to change part 1. It is therefore important briefly to rehearse the structure of the argument as we see it in relation to that part of the Bill, and, more importantly, to lay the groundwork for what I suspect, by the time we discuss the matter again—when the Lords, I hope, send the Bill back—will form the majority of our consideration.
As regards the substance of the argument, the Minister has just exposed the intellectual deficiency of the position that he and the Home Secretary have taken. He argued a moment or two ago that if we are to maintain a proper relationship between this country and our fellow members of the EU, and an effective, efficient and modern system, we need part 1 of the Bill. He is promoting a Bill, however, that contains part 2. I therefore presume that the Government regard part 2 as an appropriate method of dealing with extradition in relation to the rest of the world. It is extremely difficult to understand what is the material and operative difference, for the purposes of the Bill, between other countries that are members of the EU or that are within the Schengen area, and other jurisdictions that have established civilised and proper systems of jurisdiction. It is extremely difficult to understand what the basis for part 1 can be, other than the fact that the Home Secretary, among others, signed a framework directive that effectively compels part 1 to be introduced in this country, when those who had in mind a new evolution of EU competence saw their opportunity in the aftermath of 11 September. I do not know what the Minister believes, but I do not believe that in the absence of 11 September and the rush that it precipitated to a framework directive we would be discussing part 1. Instead, the Government would have favoured part 2 and we could have all supported the Bill.
What makes it imperative that the part 1 procedure applies to Austria but not to Canada? We have not heard Ministers give a coherent explanation for that today, in Committee, on Second Reading or in public. The Minister just explained—I do not know whether he realised quite what he was saying—that the discrepancy was brought about by the exigencies of travel. He argued that we need part 1 to deal with our relations with the EU because people travel around Europe a great deal in this modern world, and that part 2 is sufficient for everyone else. He cannot for a moment think that that is the determining difference, however, because people travel enormously to the rest of the world as well. The problem cannot be as a result of a difference that is located in the alignment and propriety of legal systems. Many Anglo Saxon juridical systems are vastly better aligned with our own than our continental partners' on the mainland of Europe.
We have yet to hear a coherent explanation of the need to have part 1 and part 2, save the one that I advanced: that the Home Secretary found himself in the odd position of rushing helter-skelter to sign something because we faced the ghastly realities of 11 September.
§ Mr. George Howarth
Even the right hon. Gentleman must recognise that there is a crucial and immense 248 difference. Those countries covered by part 1 are subject to the European convention on human rights and the framework directive.
§ Mr. Letwin
The framework directive is the problem. It is because the Home Secretary signed it in the aftermath of 11 September that part 1 exists. The ECHR is a red herring. We could import ECHR constraints into part 1. I know that, because the Minister has imported them into part 2. There is no reason to apply part 1 to countries that are signatories to the ECHR, and part 2 to those that are not, because the Minister has devised an escape route by importing the ECHR into part 2. The hon. Member for Knowsley, North and Sefton, East (Mr. Howarth) is right to mention the framework directive, however. It was foisted on the Home Secretary—or perhaps he lunged for it—because we had gone through the trauma of 11 September and a group of people in other European countries and the Commission saw it as a golden opportunity to advance the cause of the EU's juridical competence.
My hon. Friends and I have to an extent accepted that the awful realities of 11 September live with us. That is why, clutching ourselves, pinching our noses and worrying, we have accepted part 1 in the sole case of terrorism, but we will not go beyond that.
§ Mr. Bob Ainsworth
I think that the right hon. Gentleman was present when we discussed that earlier. Does he accept that his proposal to single out terrorism as the only offence to which part 1 would apply is not workable and would reintroduce dual criminality across the board?
§ Mr. Letwin
As the Minister knows, and, indeed, as he has said, we have the most profound differences of view about dual criminality, quite beyond the question of Parliament. None the less, my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath has tabled perfectly workable amendments. We do not accept that a definition in terms of the Government's legislation of the nature of terrorism is unworkable.
§ Mr. Letwin
It is indeed a British definition, and is none the worse for that. The Minister will certainly not make headway against me by suggesting that there is some imperfection in this Parliament defining those things for which this Parliament will allow people to be extradited. To us, that seems a perfectly proper method of proceeding.
§ Lady Hermon
Will the right hon. Gentleman address the particular circumstances in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom? Paramilitary terrorist organisations, both loyalist and republican, smuggle weapons, fuel and cigarettes. Given that the paramilitary terrorism that we have had to confront is so closely tied to other very serious offences, his proposal to narrow the definition to terrorism would do a great disservice to people of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Letwin
I do not think that that would be the case, although I would be delighted to discuss the matter with the hon. Lady. If part 2 were applied to the Irish 249 Republic, for example, in respect of offences that are not covered by the definition of terrorism in the Terrorism Act 2000, it would work perfectly well. The oddity of the Minister's logic is that his remarks about part 1 undercut his case for part 2. If part 2 is, generally speaking, effective and modern as a means of extradition, why will not it work in the case of Austria? If it works for Canada, why will not it work for southern Ireland? I cannot see the logic in that.
I want to put on record what I think will be the crux when the Bill, as I hope, returns to this place. In contrast to the overwhelming forces which, with a notable exception recently, the Minister can normally carry into the Lobby, it is likely that in another place matters will be far more evenly balanced. I anticipate that, when the Minister's noble Friends on the Treasury Bench scent the possibility of defeat, they will argue that the House should not be irresponsible and that it should take into account the fact that the Home Secretary has already given the game away—in short, the framework directive is compelling. I do not know whether they will argue that, but I want to do my best this evening to ensure that they do not. If I fail in that endeavour, I want at least to ensure that we have a firm platform on which to erect the arguments that we will then want to make if the Bill returns to this House as a result of messages from the other place.
I do not know how it came about that when Parliament won the civil war, it lost the peace. I do not know how it came about that the prerogative power was not properly constrained in this country. That power is not unique, but it is most unusual. We are the only sophisticated democracy of which I am aware in which a Government can sign such things and incorporate them into our domestic law without proper parliamentary scrutiny other than that of other members of the European Union. How we allowed that to evolve is a matter for deep historical investigation, but this case is perhaps more poignant than any other, because huge endeavours were made in the House to ensure that the third pillar was different and that the prerogative power could not have such an effect on our criminal law. If our constitution, or what passes for it, has any meaning—in my more pessimistic moments, I doubt that it has—it is that under the third pillar the prerogative power does not have the capacity to bind Parliament. I do not otherwise know what the third pillar is. If the Home Secretary took it into his head to sign the framework directive after 11 September under conditions that, we are all aware, were extremely emotionally charged, that is a problem for him, not Parliament. Nobody in the Commons or the other place should listen to the argument that this country is bound by the framework directive. If the judgment of Parliament when we come to the end of this process is that part 1 should not apply, or should not apply except in the case of terrorism, or should otherwise be modified, its will should prevail and the Home Secretary should be asked to unsign the framework directive and seek to renegotiate it to conform with the will of Parliament.
I do not know whether our hon. Friends in the Commons or our noble Friends in the other place will be able to achieve that. I do not know whether negotiations between the Commons and the other place, should it come to that, would accomplish that, but I am extremely keen to ensure that no one says to us in the Commons or 250 our noble Friends in the other place that we have in any sense conceded the principle that the framework directive dictates an outcome in British law. I hope that Ministers will confirm that that is their understanding, and that we have not in the past few months gone through a charade in relation to part 1. I hope that they too believe that the Commons and the other place, gathered together as the Parliament of this country, have the power to decide what our British criminal law is, notwithstanding the Home Secretary's actions in the days succeeding 11 September.
That principle is vastly more important than any other that we are going to encounter in the Bill. It goes to the root of the relationship between our Parliament and our Executive, as well as the relationship between our Parliament and the Executives of the countries with which we are in partnership in the European Union. When people look back at the Bill and consider the debates that took place on Second Reading and in Committee, as well as those that will take place in another place, they will see much more clearly whether the Bill set that precedent or whether it set a contrary precedent and established that once a Minister went to Brussels and signed such a directive he compelled Parliament to take a particular position. That is the crux of the matter—it is the item that history will judge us by. I hope profoundly that, on that matter at least, we shall find that we are at one with the Government.
§ Mr. Howarth
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way a second time. However, is his argument not inadvertently misleading? My understanding is that the framework directive does not make part 1 inevitable—it merely makes it possible. There is a world of difference between those two ideas.
§ Mr. Letwin
I do not seek to mislead the House. I hope that the hon. Gentleman's interpretation is exactly the one that the Government will make—it is certainly mine. I agree with him—I do not think that the framework directive compels Parliament to accept part 1. I am merely trying to ensure that at no point in the debate in the other place does a Minister spring to the Dispatch Box and use the argument that the framework directive compels acceptance of part 1.
§ Mr. Ainsworth
I am not trying to suggest that the situation is perfect, but surely the right hon. Gentleman accepts that the framework decision went through the scrutiny arrangements in the House and cleared them. It was put in place when the Conservative party was in government. I have no desire to suggest that the arrangements could not be improved. However, these scrutiny arrangements have been in place for some time now.
§ Mr. Letwin
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman now sees the danger that I foresaw. I accept that the scrutiny arrangements are in place—I share the Minister's view and have a stronger version of it—but the arrangements are inadequate. That is not the issue. This is a third pillar measure. This is a measure relating to British criminal law. This is a measure that lies within the sovereignty and competence of this Parliament. On my understanding of this tenuous miasma known as the British constitution, it is not open to the Executive to use 251 its prerogative power, scrutiny or no scrutiny, to override or compel the powers of this Parliament in relation to British criminal law. That is the point that I seek to establish. I hope that it will be the Government's position.
At least let it be understood that if the Government seek to argue in the other place that the framework directive compels part 1, contrary to my understanding and that of the hon. Member for Knowsley, North and Sefton, East, they are taking a position to which we root and branch object and with which we root and branch disagree. That is the crunch issue that we shall face when, as I hope, the Bill returns to this place. It is an issue that I hope will at last attract to the Bill the public attention that it has so far so dramatically and sadly lacked.
§ Mr. Mullin
As the Minister said, I think that the Bill leaves us in much better shape than it was in when it arrived in this place. Some of the improvements that the Opposition and the Select Committee on Home Affairs have achieved are examples of what can be obtained through effective scrutiny.
I have some sympathy with the points that the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin) was making a moment ago. There is a sense in which senior Ministers went off to Brussels and signed something, and then left my hon. Friend the Minister to explain it to us afterwards. He has done a good job of doing that. I do not have the same hang-ups as Opposition Members about European—and certainly European Union—judicial systems. I do not follow them as far as they would like us to. At the back of all this, I think there has been a slight feeling that the deal has already been done and that there is not much that the British Parliament can do about it. That makes me a bit uneasy, too.
§ Lady Hermon
I ask the hon. Gentleman to comment on the nature of directives. Directives are used regularly within the European Community to harmonise legislation throughout the member states. Member states are set aims and objectives by the directive and it is entirely within the discretion of each member state how it implements a directive. However, if the directive is not implemented by the time a deadline has passed, that gives rise to direct rights that individuals can rely upon anyway.
§ Mr. Mullin
I do not want to open out the debate into the long struggle that has taken place between the House and the European Commission and all its works. For the purposes of the Bill I want only to place it on record that I think that, at the back of the Bill, there has been the problem which, to some extent, the right hon. Member for West Dorset described a moment ago. However, I think that the principles are sound. It must be reasonable that we should be able to extradite people who have committed offences in judicial systems where 252 broadly similar standards apply, and that they can be returned to face the law. Most EU judicial systems are rather more merciful than our own.
§ Annabelle Ewing
I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way and I hope not to take up too much of his time. Does he not accept that the principle of mutual recognition that underpins EC first pillar legislation is based on minimal harmonisation of standards? The third pillar measure in question is an extension of the principle of mutual recognition to an area where minimal harmonisation of standards has not occurred.
§ Mr. Mullin
That is a reasonable point and it has been made quite a lot during our discussions.
As I said, I think that the Bill has emerged from the House in rather better shape than when it was introduced. There is still some scope for improvement and that may occur in another part of the building. I should like to thank the Minister for the constructive way in which he has proceeded, especially in his engagement with the Select Committee. Pre-legislative scrutiny is a science that it is still in its infancy, but his handling of the Bill has been better in terms of engaging with the Select Committee than that of almost any of the Bills that we have so far considered.
The process has been helped by the fact that the Bill was published well in advance, so it was possible to gather other opinions. That is not the case in respect of much of the other legislation that comes tumbling out of the Home Office. The Committee often has to conduct an inquiry before we see the Bill in question. On antisocial behaviour, the Committee had a session with the same overworked Minister this morning, but the Bill is yet to come. It will be along in a couple of days and I think that it will be considered on Second Reading in a couple of weeks' time. Everybody acknowledges that that is not an entirely satisfactory way of doing business, especially in terms of very controversial measures. The Bill has benefited by being published well in advance and I know that Home Office Ministers would like to achieve that in introducing all their legislation. That is to the benefit of the Government and Parliament, and I hope that that process will continue. I look forward to seeing what happens to the Bill when it goes to another place.
§ Mr. Burnett
I should like to put on record again my gratitude and that of the House for the report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs. The Committee deserves credit not only for the report, but for the speed with which it drew it up. It has been of great help to Opposition parties and in Committee, and I believe that it has also been a great help to the Government themselves. During the passage of the Bill, we have made considerable progress. Like other hon. Members, I welcomed on Report the fact that the Government have made significant concessions.
253 As I said earlier, the major concession was the restoration of specialty. That was important for me and a great many of us on the Committee. We now have sensible definitions of enforcement personnel. Furthermore, any country that retains the death penalty cannot qualify as a category 1 country. I tabled an amendment in Committee to that effect, and I am grateful that that proposal is now part of the Bill. I am also delighted to see that there has to be judicial authority to effect a European arrest warrant, although that is subject to transitional arrangements that will, I am sure, be scrutinised carefully in another place. There will now be more satisfactory provisions in relation to identity. No doubt those in the other place will again pay careful attention to the level of the burden of proof as set out by the Minister.
There are genuine difficulties in relation to which countries should be designated as category 1 countries and would benefit thereby from the expedited fast-track procedure. There are also genuine objections to the nebulous 32 offences. Of course, we should obey the laws of the country in which we reside or the countries that we visit.
The Minister should not scoff at the genuine reservations and anxieties of hon. Members who argue cogently for accurate definitions of offences that are eligible for fast-track extradition. As the hon. Member for Perth (Annabelle Ewing) rightly said, there is no minimum harmonisation standard. Their Lordships will revert to such matters, but we derive encouragement from the Minister's statement that he will "have his ears open" to those problems.
Considerable progress has been made and I believe that there will be more in the other place.
§ Mr. Cameron
I did not intend to speak. However, not for the first time, my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin) inspired me to say something to back him up—not that he needs it—on the point about whether we can amend what the Government agree under the third pillar.
It would be instructive to share with hon. Members an interesting occurrence in the Home Affairs Committee. We wanted to try to find a way in which to accept the European arrest warrant while reducing the impact of changes to dual criminality. We perceived them as constituting a major change to our constituents' rights. We proposed that the Home Secretary should have a back-stop power. Our recommendation statedthat in each case the district judge should look at the terms of the offence specified in the European Arrest Warrant and make a statement as to whether dual criminality applies. In cases where the alleged offence is not a crime in the UK a separate decision about whether to extradite should then be made by the Home Secretary, who is responsible to Parliament.The Select Committee devised that modest proposal, which we included in a draft report. Our excellent Clerk returned to the Committee and said that he did not believe that we could include it in the final report because parliamentary counsel's advice suggested that the recommendation might be asking the Government to do something illegal. We discussed the matter in the Committee and decided that that was ridiculous because Select Committees should be able to make 254 recommendations to the Government. They could then tell us whether the recommendations were illegal and try to explain their reasons to the House of Commons.
What have we come to if we cannot even make a cogent and sensible suggestion in Committee for reducing the European arrest warrant's impact on people's freedom in this country? The Minister could take two steps. First, as my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset said, he could ask the Home Secretary to return to the European Council to try to renegotiate, at a slower pace, the warrant which was initially negotiated in haste, so that it provided the protection that members of the Home Affairs Committee believed to be necessary.
Secondly, the European arrest warrant does not state that we cannot have a back-stop power. Why do not the Government have a little courage and introduce such a power to our domestic legislation? That would be a good provision, which an all-party Committee supports. We should try that and allow it to be tested in European law, thus ascertaining whether it went against the terms of the directive.
As my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset said, it is essential to ascertain whether the third pillar means that the Government can sign up to something in Europe that we cannot amend in the House. If that is the case, what is the point of the many hours of debate in the Select Committee, the Standing Committee and the Chamber? We need an answer to that question in the other place, if not here, before we finish scrutinising and, I hope, improving the Bill.
§ Lady Hermon
I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak on a Bill that I welcome.
In a previous incarnation many years ago, when I lectured in the law faculty at Queen's university, Belfast, I taught international law, and I must confess that I dreaded the weeks when I had to lecture on extradition law. It was extremely complicated, and I am sure that the students ended up no more enlightened. I am therefore delighted that the extradition procedure has been simplified.
The right hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin) expressed genuine concern about the effect of European Community law on our criminal law, but I must tell him that it already has an effect, in that it already provides a complete defence to a criminal charge in this country without our having to do anything. Let me give an example from Northern Ireland. A lorryload of pigs that had been smuggled across the border was intercepted by a police officer in South Armagh. The driver pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching our domestic legislation because he did not have the relevant documents. He faced three months in prison, confiscation of his 75 bacon pigs—my students used to write "baking pigs", but they were bacon pigs—or both.
The driver's defence lawyer, who had had the excellent experience of being taught European Community law at Queen's—as the House knows, we are very progressive in Belfast—advised him to make a plea based on that law, and on the free movement of goods between one member state and another. The driver was simply moving goods—pigs—from the Republic of Ireland to the United Kingdom. That was a 255 complete defence to a criminal charge. I could cite other cases, but you would intervene if I did, Madam Deputy Speaker.
§ Mr. Letwin
I accept that, alas, first and second-pillar European legislation has brought about the principle of the defeasibility of our domestic criminal legislation in our law. There is, I fear, no doubt of that. Does the hon. Lady not recognise, however, that in this instance—we are dealing here with the third pillar—we would take an immensely significant further step if we accepted that the Home Secretary of the day could negate Parliament's activity in legislating afresh in the sphere of domestic law simply by signing a framework directive in Brussels?
§ Lady Hermon
That is a good point, but it is technically incorrect. For many years directives, having passed the date for implementation in member states, have become directly effective, which is quite different from directly applicable. EU regulations are directly applicable; directives give individuals a directly effective right to challenge decisions in their local courts. This is not an exception, and such cases are not unusual.
§ Lady Hermon
The right hon. Gentleman, with an angelic smile, requests me to give way again. I shall do so, although I am sure it is not wise.
§ Mr. Letwin
I am grateful to the hon. Lady, because I think this is immensely important.
I accept the doctrine of direct effect—how could I do otherwise, since a series of cases make its existence clear, regrettable though I consider that to be. In this instance, however, who would have the locus? A foreign Government, the Government of an EU member state, would have to try to persuade the European Court of Justice that they had the locus to enforce the direct effect of the directive in a UK court. That has never happened in a UK court, and it would be a further step amounting to a huge constitutional innovation.
§ Lady Hermon
That was, as ever, a very helpful intervention. I think that the person charged could plead European Community law on free movement—free movement of people, in this context—but I repeat that it is not unusual for provisions in directives to be directly effective.
Let me now move on, before the right hon. Gentleman develops a habit of intervening. In my view, easily the best thing that Labour has done since coming to power in 1997 is bringing home the European convention of human rights and incorporating it through the Human Rights Act 1998. It has therefore grieved and troubled me to note those past occasions when legislation such as this has not measured up to our human rights commitments. Because of the changes and amendments that the Government have introduced today, I am much happier to believe that we are in line with our convention obligations, particularly given the Minister's clarification and firm assurance, in response to my earlier intervention, that no one would be 256 extradited to a part 1 territory if they were at risk of the death penalty. Indeed, that is a clear obligation under the longstanding jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
I am very glad that this country has ruled out for ever and a day the death penalty, which was on the Republic of Ireland's statute book but is never used. I am very pleased that the Government have made it clear that there is no way a person will be extradited from this country to face the death penalty. As I said, it is clear that our obligations within the convention have been recognised today, and I welcome that.
On a very personal note, my dear husband was Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary—it was not the Police Service of Northern Ireland in those days—for almost 10 years, making him the longest serving Chief Constable bar none. It was harrowing to realise that those who had committed atrocious and appalling acts of terrorism could escape across the border into the Republic of Ireland. It was also harrowing for relatives of victims to know that, because of the complicated extradition procedures involving the United Kingdom and the only member state that borders it, that state refused to, or found it difficult to, extradite such people in order at least to face a trial—there is always the presumption of innocence—in Northern Ireland or elsewhere for the atrocious crimes that they allegedly committed.
The right hon. Member for West Dorset seemed to turn his mind to terrorism, and if the Bill makes it easier to extradite those who are guilty of terrorist crimes, I fully support it. However, I urge the Minister not to exclude the linked paramilitary activities that fund terrorism. Terrorists need funds to carry out these appalling acts, so I urge him not to narrow the provision to cover just terrorism itself.
§ Mr. Bob Ainsworth
With the leave of the House, I will respond to what has been a very worthwhile debate, in which we have finalised consideration of the Bill in this place. I understand that, potentially, we have until 7 o'clock, but I am not planning to delay the House until then—unless the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr. Letwin) pops up repeatedly.
I again thank my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) and the various members of the Select Committee for the work that they have put into this Bill. Their interventions and representations have provided food for thought, and considerable effort went into that process. As both Opposition parties have recognised, that was a great help to them in getting their heads round what is an obscure area of law. As I said in my opening speech, that process has led to a better Bill going to the other place. As my hon. Friend knows, I will wear the praise that he heaps upon me with pride—and I hope that he tells the boss as well.
I do not have the skills to get involved in the intellectual legal tussle that has just taken place between the hon. Member for North Down (Lady Hermon) and the right hon. Member for West Dorset. The hon. Lady's contribution was impressive, and as a non-lawyer I doubt whether I can match it in any way. I hope that she has given the right hon. Gentleman food for 257 thought. As he often asks us to continue to reflect on our positions, I hope that he will continue to reflect on his. He will have to justify his line that the measure should apply only to terrorism. The hon. Member for North Down exposes that view on the basis of practical experience. It is not workable and I believe—I hope that I am not being unfair to him—that the right hon. Gentleman knows it. He does not want to stand before the House and be seen to make a proposal that would weaken our armoury against terrorism, so he has slipped this in as the very minimum that he can achieve with respect to part 1. Effectively, he is proposing something that simply would not work and he is also ignoring some serious crimes.
It is interesting to note how the right hon. Gentleman conducts himself in this Third Reading debate. We have been bombarded week after week by the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins), making the constant allegation that these are dreadfully draconian measures, but the right hon. Gentleman chooses to challenge us mainly not on the measures in part 1, although I am sure that he does not agree with them, but instead he alleges that we are doing something dreadful and that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary was appallingly lax in his response to the tragedy of 9/11 and allowed himself to be rushed into commitments now being imposed on Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman invites us to think that it is all awful and hopes that some way can be found of undoing the dreadful damage that has been done.
I might not want to challenge the right hon. Gentleman to a legal intellectual battle, but I am able to challenge him on the historical record. In that light, there is only one thing wrong with what he says—it is simply not true, and the record shows that it is not true. I ask him to look again at the consultation document, "The Law on Extradition: A Review", issued by the previous Home Secretary in March 2001—before 9/11 and all the panic that the right hon. Gentleman suggests lies at the centre of these proposals. I repeat that we issued a consultation document proposing a new framework for extradition back in March 2001. That document does not square exactly with what is in the Bill—I am not suggesting that it does—but it proposed that we did away with dual criminality in respect of our European partners. How on earth can the right hon. Gentleman seriously suggest that the only reason why we are in this position is that the Home Secretary was panicked into doing something after 9/11, when the fundamental proposition appeared in a Government consultation document six months earlier?
§ Mr. Letwin
This is absolutely wonderful. I do not know whether the Minister realises it, but he has just told us that the Home Secretary had malice aforethought—that he knew, before 11 September, that he intended to give away our birthright. The Minister admits that the Home Secretary could have taken the Bill through the House before signing the framework directive, that there was no panic and no rush to implement, and that action could have been taken after the Bill became an Act. Ultimately, the Home Secretary consciously undercut the powers of this House. Is that what the Minister is telling us?
§ Mr. Ainsworth
I am not telling the right hon. Gentleman that at all. Impressive though the Home 258 Secretary may be, he did not know that 9/11 was going to occur. A consultation process was in place and a public consultation document was before the House for scrutiny and comment. It proposed the complete removal of dual criminality for our European partners. It bears out what I am saying—that the provisions have in no way been imposed on us by the European Union. If the right hon. Member for West Dorset is suggesting that they have, he is simply wrong. We have led the debate, and the hon. Member for North Down has exposed the reasons very adequately. Whether the right hon. Gentleman likes it or not, there is a desperate need for us to modernise our extradition arrangements and to bring them up to date. Moreover, when we set the criminal framework for dealing with extradition, we must be mindful of the free movement that takes place in the EU of capital, people and everything else.
§ Mr. Letwin
In that case, why did not the Home Secretary see fit to legislate first and sign the directive afterwards?
§ Mr. Ainsworth
We put out the measures for consultation. We put the ongoing negotiations on the framework document through the parliamentary scrutiny procedure, in the way that is required by the procedures of the House. We are now putting the Bill before the House.
The Bill contains extensive safeguards. Why should we allow a person to evade justice simply because he or she has managed to cross a border before being arrested by the police? The Fill is a much-needed reform of our outdated and antiquated extradition laws. It is in the interests of us all, including our international partners, that criminals are not able to string out our extradition proceedings for years on end. The old maxim "justice delayed is justice denied" applies in extradition as it applies in other fields of criminal justice. This Bill will finally enable us to have an extradition system that is capable of coping with a world of free movement and cheap travel.
I commend the Bill to the House.
Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
§ The House divided: Ayes 303, Noes 142.261
|Division No. 136]||[6:42 pm|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Blackman, Liz|
|Adams, Irene (Paisley N)||Blears, Ms Hazel|
|Ainger, Nick||Blizzard, Bob|
|Ainsworth,Bob (Cov'try NE)||Blunkett, rh David|
|Allen, Graham||Borrow, David|
|Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)||Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)|
|Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)||Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)|
|Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary||Brennan, Kevin|
|Atkins, Charlotte||Brown, rh Gordon (Dunfermline E)|
|Bailey, Adrian||Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)|
|Banks, Tony||Bryant, Chris|
|Barron, rh Kevin||Buck, Ms Karen|
|Battle, John||Burgon, Colin|
|Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)||Burnham, Andy|
|Benn, Hilary||Burnside, David|
|Benton, Joe (Bootle)||Byers, rh Stephen|
|Caborn, rh Richard||Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)|
|Cairns, David||Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)|
|Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)||Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Hamilton, David (Midlothian)|
|Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)||Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)|
|Casale, Roger||Hanson, David|
|Caton, Martin||Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)|
|Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)||Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)|
|Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)||Healey, John|
|Chaytor, David||Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)|
|Clapham, Michael||Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)|
|Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)||Hendrick, Mark|
|Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)||Hepburn, Stephen|
|Clark, Paul (Gillingham)||Hermon, Lady|
|Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)||Hesford, Stephen|
|Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia|
|Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)||Heyes, David|
|Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)||Hill, Keith (Streatham)|
|Coaker, Vernon||Hinchliffe, David|
|Coffey, Ms Ann||Hope, Phil (Corby)|
|Connarty, Michael||Hopkins, Kelvin|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)|
|Cooper, Yvette||Howarth. George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)|
|Corston, Jean||Howells, Dr. Kim|
|Cousins, Jim||Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)|
|Cranston, Ross||Humble, Mrs Joan|
|Crausby, David||Hurst, Alan (Braintree)|
|Cruddas, Jon||Hutton, rh John|
|Cryer, Ann (Keighley)||Iddon, Dr. Brian|
|Cryer, John (Hornchurch)||Illsley, Eric|
|Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)||Irranca-Davies, Huw|
|Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)|
|Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)|
|Cunningham, Tony (Workington)||Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)|
|Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire||Jamieson, David|
|Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)||Jenkins, Brian|
|David, Wayne||Johnson. Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)|
|Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)||Jones, Helen (Warrington N)|
|Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)||Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)|
|Davis, rh Terry (B'ham Hodge H)||Jones, Kevan (N Durham)|
|Dawson, Hilton||Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)|
|Dean, Mrs Janet||Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)|
|Dhanda, Parmjit||Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)|
|Dismore, Andrew||Kaufman, rh Gerald|
|Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)||Keeble, Ms Sally|
|Dobson, rh Frank||Keen, Alan (Feltham)|
|Donaldson, Jeffrey M.||Keen, Ann (Brentford)|
|Donohoe, Brian H.||Kemp, Fraser|
|Doran, Frank||Kidney, David|
|Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)||Kilfoyle, Peter|
|Drew, David (Stroud)||King, Andy (Rugby)|
|Drown, Ms Julia||King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth|
|Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)||Kumar, Dr. Ashok|
|Edwards, Huw||Ladyman, Dr. Stephen|
|Ellman, Mrs Louise||Lawrence, Mrs Jackie|
|Etherington, Bill||Lazarowicz, Mark|
|Farrelly, Paul||Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)|
|Fisher, Mark||Liddell, rh Mrs Helen|
|Fitzpatrick, Jim||Linton, Martin|
|Flint Caroline||Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)|
|Flynn, Paul (Newport W)||Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)|
|Follett, Barbara||Luke, Iain (Dundee E)|
|Foster, rh Derek||Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)|
|Foster, Michael (Worcester)||McAvoy, Thomas|
|Francis, Dr. Hywel||McCafferty, Chris|
|Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)||McCartney, rh Ian|
|Gardiner, Barry||McDonagh, Siobhain|
|Gerrard, Neil||MacDonald, Calum|
|Gibson, Dr. Ian||McDonnell, John|
|Godsiff, Roger||MacDougall, John|
|Goggins, Paul||McGuire, Mrs Anne|
|McIsaac, Shona||Sheerman, Barry|
|McKechin, Ann||Sheridan, Jim|
|McNulty, Tony||Shipley, Ms Debra|
|McWalter, Tony||Singh, Marsha|
|McWilliam, John||Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Mahmood, Khalid||Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice|
|Mallaber, Judy||Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)|
|Mann, John (Bassetlaw)|
|Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)||Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)|
|Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Southworth, Helen|
|Marshall-Andrews, Robert||Spellar, rh John|
|Martlew, Eric||Starkey, Dr. Phyllis|
|Meacher, rh Michael||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Meale, Alan (Mansfield)||Stevenson, George|
|Merron, Gillian||Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)|
|Michael, rh Alun|
|Miliband, David||Stinchcombe, Paul|
|Miller, Andrew||Stoate, Dr. Howard|
|Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)||Strang, rh Dr. Gavin|
|Moffatt, Laura||Stuart, Ms Gisela|
|Moonie, Dr. Lewis||Sutcliffe, Gerry|
|Morgan, Julie||Tami, Mark (Alyn)|
|Morris, rh Estelle||Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Mountford, Kali||Taylor, David (NW Leics)|
|Mudie, George||Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)|
|Mullin, Chris||Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)|
|Munn, Ms Meg||Timms, Stephen|
|Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)||Tipping, Paddy|
|Naysmith, Dr. Doug||Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)|
|Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)||Touhig, Don (IsIwyn)|
|Olner, Bill||Trickett, Jon|
|Owen, Albert||Truswell, Paul|
|Palmer, Dr. Nick||Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)|
|Perham, Linda||Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptovvn)|
|Pickthall, Colin||Turner, Neil (Wigan)|
|Pike, Peter (Burnley)||Twigg, Derek (Halton)|
|Pollard, Kerry||Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)|
|Pond, Chris (Gravesham)||Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)|
|Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)||Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)|
|Pound, Stephen||Vis, Dr. Rudi|
|Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)||Walley, Ms Joan|
|Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)||Wareing, Robert N.|
|Prescott, rh John||Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)|
|Primarolo, rh Dawn||White, Brian|
|Prosser, Gwyn||Whitehead, Dr. Alan|
|Purchase, Ken||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Purnell, James||Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)|
|Quinn, Lawrie||Williams, Betty (Conwy)|
|Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)||Wills, Michael|
|Raynsford, rh Nick||Wilson, Brian|
|Reed, Andy (Loughborough)||Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)|
|Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)|
|Wood, Mike (Batley)|
|Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)||Woodward, Shaun|
|Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)|
|Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)||Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)|
|Roy, Frank (Motherwell)|
|Ruddock, Joan||Wright, David (Telford)|
|Salter, Martin||Wright, Tony (Cannock)|
|Savidge, Malcolm||Wyatt, Derek|
|Sawford, Phil||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Sedgemore, Brian||Joan Ryan and|
|Shaw, Jonathan||Mr. Jim Murphy|
|Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)||Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)|
|Amess, David||Bacon, Richard|
|Ancram, rh Michael||Barker, Gregory|
|Arbuthnot, rh James||Baron, John (Billericay)|
|Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)||Bellingham, Henry|
|Beresford, Sir Paul||Mackay, rh Andrew|
|Blunt, Crispin||Maclean, rh David|
|Boswell, Tim||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)||Malins, Humfrey|
|Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)||Maude, rh Francis|
|May, Mrs Theresa|
|Brady, Graham||Mercer, Patrick|
|Brazier, Julian||Moss, Malcolm|
|Browning, Mrs Angela||Murrison, Dr. Andrew|
|Burns, Simon||Norman, Archie|
|Cameron, David||Osborne, George (Tatton)|
|Cash, William||Ottaway, Richard|
|Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)||Page, Richard|
|Chope, Christopher||Paterson, Owen|
|Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Pickles, Eric|
|Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey||Portillo, rh Michael|
|Collins, Tim||Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)|
|Cran, James (Beverley)||Prisk, Mark (Hertford)|
|Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)||Randall, John|
|Redwood, rh John|
|Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)||Robathan, Andrew|
|Robertson, Angus (Moray)|
|Djanogly, Jonathan||Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)|
|Duncan, Alan (Rutland)|
|Duncan, Peter (Galloway)||Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)|
|Duncan Smith, rh Iain||Roe, Mrs Marion|
|Evans, Nigel||Rosindell, Andrew|
|Ewing, Annabelle||Ruffley, David|
|Fabricant, Michael||Salmond, Alex|
|Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)||Sayeed, Jonathan|
|Flight, Howard||Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian|
|Flook, Adrian||Shepherd, Richard|
|Forth, rh Eric||Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)|
|Fox, Dr. Liam||Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)|
|Francois, Mark||Spicer, Sir Michael|
|Gale, Roger (N Thanet)||Spink, Bob (Castle Point)|
|Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)||Spring, Richard|
|Goodman, Paul||Stanley, rh Sir John|
|Grayling, Chris||Streeter, Gary|
|Green, Damian (Ashford)||Swayne, Desmond|
|Greenway, John||Swire, Hugo (E Devon)|
|Hague, rh William||Syms, Robert|
|Hammond, Philip||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Hawkins, Nick||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Hayes, John (S Holland)||Taylor, John (Solihull)|
|Heald, Oliver||Taylor, Sir Teddy|
|Heathcoat-Amory, rh David||Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)|
|Hendry, Charles||Tredinnick, David|
|Hogg, rh Douglas||Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)|
|Horam, John (Orpington)||Tyrie, Andrew|
|Howard, rh Michael||Waterson, Nigel|
|Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)||Watkinson, Angela|
|Hunter, Andrew||Weir, Michael|
|Jack, rh Michael||Whittingdale, John|
|Jackson, Robert (Wantage)||Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann|
|Jenkin, Bernard||Wiggin, Bill|
|Key, Robert (Salisbury)||Wilkinson, John|
|Kirkbride, Miss Julie||Willetts, David|
|Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)||Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)|
|Lansley, Andrew||Wilshire, David|
|Letwin, rh Oliver||Winterton, Ann (Congleton)|
|Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)||Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)|
|Lidington, David||Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)|
|Lilley, rh Peter||Young, rh Sir George|
|Loughton, Tim||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)||Mrs. Cheryl Gillan and|
|McIntosh, Miss Anne||Mr. Mark Hoban|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Bill read the Third time, and passed.