United Kingdom: Britain to scrap European arrest warrant

16 October 2012 – Presseurop The Times, The Guardian

In a bid to renegotiate British membership of the EU and seize back powers, the Conservative led government has confirmed that the UK will opt out of 130 pieces of EU justice and home affairs legislation, including the European arrest warrant, reports The Times. British Home Secretary Theresa May said that the government would "opt out en masse and then seek to rejoin individual measures". The London daily adds —

The arrest warrant system is particularly contentious. Tory opponents argue that it has proved a one-way street, with far greater numbers of alleged criminals extradited from Britain than are arrested and sent to the UK for trial. They complain that many requests are from Poland for abscondee prisoners, who have taken advantage of Polish prison rules which allow them to have a break in the course of their sentences.

British daily The Guardian has qualified the Home Secretary’s statement as “fudge” and “chaos”, calling into question her ability to renegociate an agreement “obviously important in a world of cross-border crime” —

But why should every other country in Europe be desperate to stitch together new understandings with the UK on such things, immediately after it has walked away from all existing arrangements?

Faced with increasing calls by Tory Eurosceptics to withdraw from the EU —

Mrs May no doubt felt competitive pressure to prove that she too would restore Britain to the supposedly splendid isolation of some imagined yesteryear.

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