Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-10-04-Speech-2-030-000"

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"Mr President, King Richard III first introduced a form of legal aid into English courts in about 1485. Now Richard is accused of many crimes, but one thing he never did, to my knowledge anyway, was to surrender an English subject to a foreign jurisdiction purely on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations on a sheet of paper. It took Conservative and Labour governments to remove the requirement for evidence in extradition cases – as now enshrined in the infamous European Arrest Warrant. There is nothing that the European Union can teach the English legal system about anything else, including legal aid, but at least the British Government has chosen to opt out of this directive. Nevertheless, it is good to see that other EU Member States are being required to catch up and to provide legal assistance to those accused in criminal proceedings, and to victims of European arrest warrants. But this must include assistance to those in all receiving Member States. Normally I would vote against EU law, but in this case I am inclined to abstain. It does not affect the UK, but it is good and it is only right and proper that other Member States should go to the trouble and expense of providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it themselves. When Britain leaves the European Union, then we must repeal the European Arrest Warrant and never again extradite someone unless a British court has first considered the evidence against them and come to the conclusion that there is a proper case to answer."@en1

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