Friday, September 22, 2006

EU: Britain, you will bow down to us!

EU: I have the feeling that terrorism will be down the list as the thought crimes will be his first cause.

The only way for Britain to be safe from terrorism is to surrender its national veto over new European Union laws covering cross-border police and judicial co-operation, the EU's leading justice official said last night. Franco Frattini, EU commission vice-president for justice, liberty and security, said that the requirement to reach unanimous agreement among all 25 member states was holding up key new initiatives and putting British lives at risk. It was time to put aside "national jealousies", said Mr Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister. It was time to allow Europe's national police forces, secret services, court systems and prosecutors to leap over frontiers and borders when in pursuit of terrorists, organised criminals, paedophiles and other serious offenders, which the EU says includes those guilty of racism and xenophobia. "Terrorists don't know borders, it is absolutely anachronistic to imagine [you can] keep borders in combating terrorism or organised crime," Mr Frattini said. At an "informal" meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Finland today, Britain will find itself under unprecedented pressure to give up its cherished veto on criminal justice dossiers and move to "qualified majority voting", in which a substantial minority of countries are needed to block a proposal. British Conservatives have highlighted the failure of ministers to say they will keep the veto. Eurosceptic groups interpret the silence as a sign that the Government is preparing to surrender it on a wide range of justice proposals. Critics say Mr Frattini has his eye on all criminal justice policy, threatening such cornerstones of liberty as trial by jury and the principle of habeas corpus. Mr Frattini had a message for the British people – in a nutshell: trust me, and trust Europe to choose only a handful of "well selected" dossiers, vital for the fight against crime.

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