Mr Redwood’s contribution to the debate on the proposed EU Criminal Justice measures

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Many of us thought that we would have an opportunity today to debate the very weighty question of whether this country should opt back into 35 important measures relating to criminal justice, and put it under European Court of Justice and European Union control. We looked forward to a debate and a vote on that high principle, which includes the important and contentious European arrest warrant, but also a number of other measures that constitute the building blocks for a system in which our criminal justice would be conducted primarily under the central control of the European Union rather than that of the United Kingdom.

We welcome the Government’s wish to engage and to allow us a reasonable length of time in which to debate those matters, followed by a concluding vote at 10 pm, but you, Mr Speaker, have told us, very wisely and helpfully, that that is not what the business motion says, and, through you, I urge Ministers to consider amending it. As I understand the position, you would probably be sympathetic if they wished to do so. We could debate their regulations for 90 minutes, and during the remaining time, until 10 pm, we could debate the much wider issues of substance. We could discuss whether we wish to opt into all those measures and what we think of the European arrest warrant. Some believe it to be the biggest of all the measures, which is in itself debatable. I think that justice would then be seen to be done by the wider public.

I hope, Mr Speaker, that I am not taking liberties by suggesting to Ministers, through you, that a simple amendment to the business motion might provide a way out of this dilemma, and enable the House properly to consider the wider constitutional issues.


  1. Tad Davison
    November 11, 2014


    I have to ask, why is this available via e-mail only and not on the main website?


    Reply I have asked for it to be posted!

  2. Tad Davison
    November 11, 2014

    This from the Open Europe daily newsletter:

    ‘House of Commons ‘vote’ on the European Arrest Warrant ends in chaos

    Home Secretary Theresa May’s plans to gain parliamentary approval for her proposal to opt in to European Court of Justice control over 35 EU crime and policing measures ended in chaos last night as the Speaker of the House of Commons ruled that the motion she had presented for voting covered only eleven out of the 35 measures she wished to debate, excluding the EAW. The debate ended early without substantive discussion due to a procedural motion pressed by the Labour party, although the government won the eventual vote on the 11 measures by 464 to 38. The Labour Party now plans to hold its own non-binding Commons’ vote on the EAW on the 19 November – the day before the Rochester and Strood by-election.

    A Sun leader argues that the Government’s handling of the affair has “stoked anger among rebels already sympathetic to UKIP. It was politically insane.” A Telegraph leader argues that UKIP was the only beneficiary of yesterday’s events. Open Europe’s blog post pointing out that the UK wants to give national parliaments greater powers to determine EU policy but “can’t get its own house in order” is cited by the Polish Press Agency.’

    I’ve seen some heated debates in my time, and I’ve seen a lot of chicanery, but I can’t recall anything quite as pathetic. Ours is supposed to be the mother of all parliaments. The rest of the world including the EU must be laughing up its sleeve this morning.

    We really do need to get rid of this bunch as a matter of urgency. Drinking sessions and the poor organisition thereof comes to mind.


    1. Lifelogic
      November 11, 2014

      Exactly. Who would trust them on iota.

      Keep up the good work JR even if it is getting you virtually nothing so far.

  3. William Long
    November 11, 2014

    What this does is demonstrate beyond any doubt that the Government are stone deaf to the voice of reason on this issue. One can only conclude that they are worried they might lose the argument. It would be very interesting to hear your views on what happened.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 11, 2014

      They do not even have an argument.

  4. BobE
    November 11, 2014

    I watched this and I was ashamed of the obvious attempt to force through the EAW as if it was a done deal. This administration needs to go.
    (John I watched as you and others attempted to breach the stonewall. The only winners here were UKIP)

  5. Kenneth R Moore
    November 12, 2014

    ‘our criminal justice would be conducted primarily under the central control of the European Union rather than that of the United Kingdom’.JR

    How have we come to this – so weary are our Mp’s that we are forced to be almost grateful for a few hours to discuss handing over control of our criminal justice system.
    Then even that time was denied!. The system is a ratchet..what once would have provoked heated debate and opposition is now passed with just a murmur of disapproval.
    What would the parliamentary greats like Powell and Churchill make of us.

    A system that has taken hundreds of years to take, handed over in a heartbeat.

    Have to say this was an okay speech by Mr Redwood but it was not his best. He could have gone much further in being critical of the government – this was not a time for measured language. I’d like to see more anger in the chamber reflecting our mood out here and less appeasement of Cameron and his cronies.

    Redwood’s speech on the Euro referendum was made by a man with more fire in his belly but he still did make some good points on EAW.

    Reply I did not get to make my speech on the EAW and opt ins- we only debated procedure thanks to Labour’s decision to move a motion which meant a premature end to the debate whichever way I voted! The Opposition was dreadful, as they intended all along to back the government on the opt ins including the EAW and then played games to stop the rest of us speaking on the subject, ending business at 8pm instead of at 10pm as planned.

    1. Kenneth R Moore
      November 13, 2014

      Thank you Dr Redwood for your helpful explanation.
      If i understand correctly, parliament had no voice in the debate and was simply asked to ‘rubber stamp’ the EAW policy – decided in advance by the Coalition and Labour party leadership. The vote itself was also far from fair as the whips were texting Mp’s to ensure they voted the right way.
      Shamefull….what gives us the moral authority to criticise foreign regimes when we desperately need to put out own house in order!.
      The coalition also seems to be at fault as the controversial EAW policy was included with a batch of other legislation in order to get it through.
      This is disgraceful – I was under the impression that sofa government was a thing of the past.

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