A lot of constituents are concerned about the extradition arrangements in place between the UK and other countries, particularly the United States. The is obviously a complex issue but I share some of the concerns that have been raised. You can see my response to constituents below:
Thank you for your recent email regarding extradition.
There have been a number of controversial extradition cases recently and I feel it is important that the government seeks to take effective action to solidify the UK’s position on these issues. I am particularly concerned about a lack of even-handedness in the extradition treaty between the UK and the United States with the US having far greater freedom to extradite UK citizens than vice versa.
In light of the above, I am pleased to confirm that I have signed EDM 128 which reads:
“That this House notes that it has been over five months since it passed a motion on 5 December 2011 calling on the Government to reform the UK’s extradition arrangements to strengthen the protection of British citizens by both introducing, as a matter of urgency, a Bill to enact the safeguards recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its Fifteenth Report of Session 2010-12,HC 767, and by pursuing such amendments to the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 and the EU Council Framework Decision 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant asare necessary in order to give effect to such recommendations; further notes that it is over seven months since the Scott Baker Review of the UK’s extradition laws; welcomes the announcement in March 2012 by President Obama and the Prime Minister of a joint initiative to look into the operation of the UK-US Extradition Treaty; believes that it would not be in the public interest for anyone to be extradited to the US from the UK until theurgent legislation called for by Parliament to amend the 2003 Treaty has been passed; supports the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recommendation for the Home Secretary to publish the evidence to the Baker Review immediately; and calls on the Government to bring forward legislation in line with Parliament’s wishes.”
You can view the EDM and signatories here.
You may wish to note that the Government commissioned an independent review of the UK’s extradition treaties that reported last year. You can view their report here.
Furthermore the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee conducted an inquiry into this issue. You can find their report here.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me on this important issue.
There may be further developments on this issue in the near future as the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, looks into further specific cases around which there is a lot of uncertainly. If you would like to discuss this matter, you can contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.