Coffee House

Exclusive: Is a U-turn looming on the European Arrest Warrant?

16 October 2014

2:03 PM

16 October 2014

2:03 PM

Tory chief whip Michael Gove has been calling round MPs to suggest that it might be better if Britain does not opt back into the European Arrest Warrant, Coffee House has learned.

Gove is aware that there will be a significant rebellion on the opt-in, with some estimating that around 50 Tory MPs already plan to vote against the measure. But this tactic, which some MPs think signals a dispute in government about the policy, and some think is simply the chief whip trying to sound out backbenchers using confusing and ornate language, could inflate the rebellion. Some MPs deeply involved in the brewing revolt believe Gove is actually encouraging colleagues to believe the opt-in will not happen, and that in the end 80 Conservatives could vote against, making it one of the bigger rebellions of this Parliament.


One MP said Gove approached him recently to make this intriguing suggestion:

‘The way it was broached to me was what would I think if we just did not opt back into the European Arrest Warrant? I thought this was better late than never and it must be that there is movement in Number 10 on this.’

The theory among some MPs is that Number 10 would now like to remain outside the EAW but that Theresa May is refusing to budge. The rumour sweeping the party is that the government is preparing to turn tail on this. There are no other indications that this would be the case, with the Prime Minister giving no impression that he would yield on the EAW when he spoke to the No Turning Back group of Tory MPs yesterday afternoon.

Others think the chief whip is trying to be cunning. One says: ‘He’s just doing it so that he can tell David Cameron that “I told you so” about how many would rebel.’ The way he is phrasing the question, though makes it sound to those listening as though an opt-out is being considered.

On this and on the possibility of a points-based system for EU migration that Coffee House covered yesterday, if the PM and Gove are showing more leg than they intend to, they’ll find their party is even more difficult to control.

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Show comments
  • hdb

    Curious to know what their reasons are. I haven’t seen EAW discussed as a problem before. I would have thought law and order types would like the ability to get criminals back from the Costas easily and similarly to allow undesireables to be removed from here.

  • Lady Magdalene

    They’d better scrap it.

    Dan Hannan has written a blistering piece in the DT wondering why Cameron is intent on destroying Magna Carta and Habeas Corpus.

    • Conway

      Cameron doesn’t know anything about Magna Carta. An excellent education wasted!

  • ManOfKent

    The theory among some MPs is that Number 10 would now like to remain outside the EAW but that Theresa May is refusing to budge.

    Well there is a simple solution. SACK MAY!

    She’s abjectly failed on Immigration. she’s a nasty snooping authoritarian, passport office is chaos, Home Office statistics are a joke and the Crime stats are a fraud. There is no significant area in the Home Office that hasn’t failed. Sack Her!

    Despite her delusions of grandeur, she is not the leader of the Tory Party!

  • VOWlol

    Arrest Gordon Brown for treason.

    • Lady Magdalene

      Good plan. And Blair and John Major.

  • fred finger

    EAW is a misnomer. The EAW for Arnis Zalkans was not issued because you have to supply that you have enough proof that they WILL be charged when they returned. So it is really the EA&CW. So how do you charge some one when you need to interview them first to see if you can get the evidence to charge them. The EAW is not the great panacea it has been reported to be.

    • hdb

      Any case that relies on interviewing the suspect to come up with conclusive proof is probably pretty flimsy to begin with.

  • global city

    This would provide UKIP with the biggest open goal ever, if the government confirm that they are opting back into the EAW.

    If nothing else it will just be one more item to add to the scores of other commitments we agree to every month that shows that the establishment have absolutely no intention of ever leaving the EU.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Permit me to adjust your headline to:

    “Exclusive: is a by-election looming in Rochester and Strood?”

    • Conway

      Exactly – hints that there may be a U turn on opting back in to the EAW (there won’t be) and suggestions that there might be a cap on EU immigration (there can’t be because it’s one of the four founding freedoms and non-negotiable) mean they are desperately trying to con the electorate into not voting for a decent party that means what it says on the EU.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Why doesn’t this piece even mention the use of the EAW to persecute & hound distressed parents & their sick child in Spain?

    • hdb

      The EAW didn’t do the persecuting, the police did. The problem is with them and their constant overreaching of themselves not with the availability of a European warrant.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Do you always upvote your own posts hdb? The only other posters I’ve noticed doing this were rabid antisemites.

        To answer your comment: of course the EAW didn’t do the persecuting. It doesn’t have a mind of its own. The police & the hospital have minds & intentions, for which the EAW proved to be a very useful piece of kit.

  • Colonel Mustard

    All this nonsense is because the politicians who are supposed to safeguard our liberties have been “captured” by paranoid secret policemen (I use the word “police” loosely) and rather than holding them properly to account have become the useful idiots feeding them more and more powers on demand.

    One might have thought the recent madness in Spain would have given the idiots pause for thought.

    • Frank

      Yes indeed, but you are talking about May who appears to have gone native in the Home Office (mind you she is also pretty dim, so perhaps she is just clueless?).

      • Colonel Mustard

        They all seem to go native! But the prospect of Yvette Cooper in the Home Office doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • RadioJockhadistan

    Copied and amended to suit, exclusively from another blog:

    “Isabel, with all due respect but you peddle some LibLabCon tripe sometimes.

    What happened to the parents of that kid which was ill and fled to Spain and
    then to the Czech Republic, all later paid for by the NHS?

    Did they not get arrested by use of an EAW?

    Of course they did.

    So who opted out?

    We never did.

    Who issued the EAW?

    We did.

    So why pretend we were opting BACK in?

    Isabel, with all due respect but you peddle some real LibLabCon tripe sometimes.”

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …was that one of your sockpuppets, lad?

  • sir_graphus

    Option back in would be terrible as an issue in itself (see Dan Hannan, today:

    But what a terrible signal to the EU and to Eurosceptics; Cameron says he wants to renegotiate the return of powers from the EU. Here’s one on a plate; a big juicy one, for free; and for some reason he doesn’t want it.

    • Conway

      Bingo! That’s why we have no faith in anything he says about the EU (except when he said that he wouldn’t want to take us out).

  • In2minds

    Theresa May is a fool is she wants the EAW then it’s a bad idea.

    • you_kid

      I urge you to post in English – this is gibberish.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …that’s quite an amusing accusation, coming from the socialist nutter king of gibberish.

        • you_kid

          … have you noticed? Your half-backed Boris Johnson junior assistant deputy campaign manager lines convince nobody, buddy.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

            • you_kid

              what, not even deputy junior assistant? why are you bothering, buddy?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …and see what you can make of this gibberish while you’re at it.

    • davidraynes

      It is a bad idea, it is also a subject about which the Lib Dems lie magnificently, to create fear uncertainty and doubt..

      I had plenty to do with extradition in my career and the use of the Interpol red notice.

      Never a problem before the EAW.

      Even countries like Northern Cyprus, with whom we did not have diplomatic relations, would co-operate,

    • Count Dooku

      There’s something terribly wrong with the Home Office. Every sound politician that goes in there comes out a crazy totalitarian.
      The spooks must try and frighten them with some nonsense to get more power.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Mistress May is a special kind of over-promoted numpty though. She’s on the wrong side of absolutely everything, from Levesonista fascism to this EAW matter to embracing islamofascists foreign and domestic to locking out civil libertarian foreigners to ignoring Rotherham child rape gangs to … well the list goes on and on. I don’t think she needed anybody’s help to be an authoritarian socialist nutter. She was that all along.

      • starfish

        Trouble is when your in tray is piled high with crims, anarchists, asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and sundry terrorist plots I think you probably get a little paranoid
        Plus it is easy to be sanguine about liberty when you are not being held personally responsible for perceived security service failure

        • Count Dooku

          Very fair point. Perhaps there should be a separate security cabinet minister? The home office does enough stuff as it is.

      • hdb

        Problem is there is no politicians who wants a policeman to stand up and say ‘you are letting the bad guys get away with it’. The tabloids would have a field day. So if a copper so much as says he wants a new pair of handcuffs he is given it.