Today in the House of Commons was being billed as the big debate and vote as to whether the UK should opt back in to various bits of EU law which we have no obligation to do under the Home Affairs and Justice part of the EU.
The most high profile of these is the European Arrest Warrant – the EAW. However, in a telling example of the Alice in Wonderland world in which EU matters are considered the debate was actually on an obscure new Statutory Instrument (SI) which actually made no reference to the EAW. The effect of the SI is to transpose into UK law several of the measures which apparently were so vital to the national interest that we have to opt back in to them. So vital that is that we had not yet even bothered to incorporate them into UK law.
The debate was mired in procedural confusion and although at the end of a curtailed debate the SI was approved I doubt we have heard the last of it. These are major matters concerning the liberty of British subjects and whether the UK should hand control of such matters over to the EU and crucially to the judges of the European Court of Justice. My view is that the UK should keep control of our own criminal justice system.