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Blair to let EU
By GEORGE -PASCOE-WATSON
Deputy Political Editor
TONY Blair was last night slammed for
handing EU judges the power to
arrest British citizens on trumped-up
charges over laws which do not EXIST
in the UK.
The PM will sign up to an EU-wide
arrest warrant today — despite
warnings that it is open to abuse and
a massive surrender of power.
It will mean that anyone can be seized
and handed over to a EU country to
face trial, even if they have done
nothing wrong under British laws.
Last night the International Federation
of Human Rights Leagues said British
citizens will be at the mercy of third
rate legal systems like Greece and
Vice President Michel Tubiana said: “It presupposes that all judicial
systems function well.
“All you can say with certainty is that NO system functions perfectly.
“One cannot rule out the possibility that the European arrest warrant
could be widened to other crimes, or abused.
“There is no guarantee preventing this.”
Last night Downing Street brushed off the attack and insisted Mr Blair will
OK the deal.
It means that people can be arrested in Britain on any one of 32 measures
at the whim of foreign magistrates.
They include offences like xenophobia and swindling.
British police officers will be expected to arrest citizens on the orders of
the foreign courts — a huge change in the UK’s constitution.
The idea is part of the international crackdown on global terrorism.
It ensures that suspects will be fast-tracked to justice and barred from
using the appeals system to stay ahead of the law.
But critics want to know why many crimes have been included which
have nothing to do with terrorism.
Rape is on the list — a crime easy to allege but often difficult to prove.
Yet under the plan, “suspects” would have NO right to challenge
evidence put forward for their extradition by a
All 15 EU leaders will sign the pact during talks in Laeken, Belgium.
MPs here will not get a chance to debate the measure until it becomes
part of a new Extradition Bill in February.
French beef ban KO
FRANCE was ordered to lift its ban on British beef yesterday after it was
ruled a breach of EU law.
Judges in The European Court of Justice declared the two-year import
blockade “utterly unjustified” because the meat is safe.
They threatened massive fines if it continues.
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said: “I am delighted by the