by Iain Donaldson on 12 November, 2014
For generations the white coast of Spain was reknowned in the UK as the costa del crime, it was where the British Criminals went to spend their ill gotten gains without any possibility that they would be extradited back to the UK, because there was no extradition treaty negotiated or likely to be negotiated with Spain. As long as these people had retired from crime, or didn’t indulge in criminal activity in Spain, they were free to live off their ill gotten gains.
I have highlighted Spain because in the UK it is the most well known example, but there were other countries who did not extradite if the activity for which an individual was wanted was not criminal activity in the country that a person had fled to.
All that changed with the advent of the European Arrest Warrant.
People could be automatically returned to the UK if they had committed a crime in the UK, even if it was not a criminal activity in the country they had fled to. There would no longer be years of legal action in criminal courts, once someone was found guilty in a member state all member states were bound to return that person for trial to the state in which the crime was committed.\
There have been notable exceptions, but these are small in number compared to the number of cases where the arrest has been properly executed for valid reasons, and the criminal justice has been properly served.
Many Conservatives and their facist allies in UKIP want to change all that, to allow those crimnal elements in our society to be able to flee once again to Europe and escape British Justice. Their reasoning is irrational and the outcome of their proposal would be that cases such as the teacher who fled the country with an underage student would not have been tackled so quickly.
The danger in which the termination of the European Arrest Warrant puts British Citizens should not be underestimated. It has been used to prevent violent thugs from escaping justice. The right wing Tories and UKIP must not be allowed to destroy this vital piece of legislation just because it is Eurpean legislation.
There is an old British saying, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.