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U-turns

European arrest warrants

  • Tory “veto moment” on justice and home affairs damages the real interests of UK citizens – Left Foot Forward, 16 October 2012
  • Tory backbenchers in revolt as Theresa May backs down over European arrest warrants - The Independent, 9 July 2013

In October 2012, after weeks of speculation, home secretary Theresa May confirmed that the Conservative Party’s intended to go ahead with the block opt out of European Union crime and justice measures:

“The UK cannot pick and choose the measures from which we wish to opt out.

“We can only opt out en masse and then seek to rejoin individual measures.

“The government’s current thinking is that we will opt out of all pre-Lisbon police and criminal justice matters, and then negotiate with the Commission and other member states to opt back into those individual measures that it is in our national interest to rejoin.”

In July 2013, however, May backed down, admitting that the coalition would remain a participant in the European arrest warrant scheme:

“For reasons of policy, principle and pragmatism, I believe that it is in the national interest to exercise the United Kingdom’s opt-out and rejoin a much smaller set of measures which help us to co-operate with our European neighbours in the fight against serious and organised crime.”

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