I am proud to be a supporter of Conservatives for Britain, a group set up to push for fundamental reform of Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
Conservatives for Britain will assess whether renegotiation achieves fundamental reform of our EU membership. If the EU refuses to change and provide a sustainable future for its member states, then we will recommend that Britain becomes an outward-looking, globally focussed nation that trades with Europe and the rest of the world from outside of the European Union.
The changes that we need are:
- Border control. As the crisis in the Mediterranean and at Calais is showing, EU policy is causing chaos. Britain needs to manage immigration in a sustainable way that benefits British citizens and aspiring migrants who want to contribute to our country.
- Free trade. We should have the ability to make trade deals with friendly nations all around the globe to bring prices down and boost British exports.
- Less regulation. The EU has imposed a Kafkaesque system of incomprehensible regulations that kill small businesses, to the benefit of multinational corporations and their swish legal teams. Regulations must be cut and only apply to those businesses exporting to EU countries.
- Parliamentary sovereignty. The European Commission remains distant and is appointed by back door deals, where political elites club together to benefit themselves. British law laid down by a sovereign Parliament, made up of accountable politicians, must remain the law of the land.
- An end to “ever closer union”. The British public wants a friendly, trading relationship with our European partners, not to hand over political powers to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. We need to act in our national interest, opting out of more integration.
The EU, as it stands, is broken. It’s too protectionist, bureaucratic and undemocratic. It needs to allow its member states more freedom to trade as they choose, a democratic process of holding decision-makers to account and assurances that Britain will not be dragged down the rabbit hole of further integration.
If you agree that the EU needs serious reform, then sign up to Conservatives for Britain to join a wide movement of activists, supporters and representatives who are working hard to get the best deal for Britain.
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Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK citizens were subject to a European arrest warrant in 2013-14.
And to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many European Arrest Warrant requests levied against British citizens have been refused in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14.
Karen Bradley (Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime): In 2013-14, the National Crime Agency received 7,881 arrest warrants from other EU Member States, of which 132 (or 1.67%) were issued in respect of UK nationals.
In the financial year 2013-14, ten Arrest Warrants from Member States for British nationals were refused by the courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Information is not held for the financial years 2011-12 and 2012-13.
||Financial year 2013-14
|Final court decisions on Arrest Warrants issued by Member States for the surrender of British Nationals
|Arrest Warrants for British nationals that were refused by the court
|Arrest Warrant for British nationals refused as a proportion of total of final court decisions.
Of the total number of surrenders from England, Wales and Northern Ireland between April 2009 and March 2014, over 95% (4,855 of 5,072) of people surrendered were foreign nationals and just over 4.3% (217 of 5,072) were British nationals. By way of comparison, in non-Arrest Warrant cases over a similar period 40% of those extradited have been British nationals.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor) (Con): Thank you for calling me to speak, Chairman Walker—if that does not sound too much like Chairman Mao. It is a pleasure to speak in this debate.
First, I say a huge thank you to my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin) for the presentation of the report by the Public Administration Committee. Given that immigration is one of the top three issues in the country, it is absolutely vital that we have a look at the underpinning foundation of the statistics and data that inform the debate about it.
I also thank the Minister, before he even makes his closing remarks, because I know that he is working exceptionally hard; he has worked exceptionally hard in all the jobs he has had. I am aware that we have the same agenda. We would like to see better statistics but sometimes in coalition it can be tricky to get these things through at the pace that he may wish for.
I will try to keep my remarks as brief as possible, but nothing I say today is to be taken as criticism; it is merely observation that there are better ways in which we can collect the statistics and more intelligent ways in which we can present them.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent progress she has made in introducing universal exit checks; and if she will make a statement.
Karen Bradley (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department): The Government is committed to reintroducing exit checks. By April 2015, comprehensive exit checks will apply on scheduled and commercial air, sea and rail routes.
We have recently introduced new powers in the Immigration Act 2014 to support embarkation checks at the border, and we continue to work with carriers and port operators to explore the least burdensome way of delivering the exit checks commitment.
Are Britain’s migration statistics accurate? Certainly not as accurate as I might like. That’s why yesterday I wrote an article for the Huffington Post urging the Home Secretary to reintroduce entrance and exit checks on UK borders as a matter of urgency – to count people in and out of the country.
If we’re going to write effective immigration policy that deters health and benefit tourism and attracts investment, we must have a detailed statistical picture of the number and category of people entering and leaving the country.
Read the article on the Huffington Post