Nick O'Shea

Former Lib Dem councillor for Capel and Newdigate Learn more

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Liberal Democrats Condemn Home Secretary

by Nick O'Shea on 21 October, 2012

At their conference in Guildford yesterday, 20th October at the annual conference of the South East Lib Dems adopted a motion proposed by Lib Dem candidate for Surrey PCC Nick O’Shea condemning the Home Secretary’s recent comment on option out of the European Arrest Warrant and Over 100 other cross-Europe law enforcements measures.

During the debate, he said “I support the police in working with colleagues across Europe by lobbying for the European Arrest Warrant and other collaborative arrangements to be kept. But the Tories have said they want to opt out of these – putting hostility to anything European ahead of national security and working with other police forces. We must fight international criminal gangs engaged in pushing drugs, people trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.”

The wording of the resolution was:

We condemn Teresa May’s announcement last week that she intends to opt-out of cross-Europe law enforcements measures, including the European Arrest Warrant.

They noted that whilst the Home Secretary says that she may wish subsequently to opt back in to this or other specific measures, she knows there is no guarantee that the European Commission and other European countries will allow her to do so.

We also note that 13 former security and police chiefs have written to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, saying that scrapping the European Arrest Warrant would be entirely self-defeating, and that it should be retained and improved.

We believe that anyone seriously concerned about tackling international crimes such as drug and people trafficking should be supporting efforts to coordinate cross-European policing and law enforcement, including EAWs. Criminal gangs don’t recognise national borders. Our police and law enforcement agencies must work closely with their colleagues in the rest of Europe to combat organised international crime.

We are appalled that Conservative politicians, particularly their PCC candidate, claim to support the police and law enforcement, saying they want to fight drug crime, but then try to restrict the police’s ability to take effective action to tackle crimes like international drug trafficking. They are clearly out of touch with local people’s concerns since these crimes are at the very top of local residents’ concerns and expectation for better police performance.

We are committed to supporting our police and other law enforcement agencies in tackling cross-border crime. We believe the best way to do this is to retain and improve the pan-European law enforcement arrangements established by the Lisbon treaty, and call on Liberal Democrats in parliaments and the government to re-affirm the UK’s commitment to these.

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