European area of freedom, security and justice
Delivered in Plenary - 17th December 2008
I welcome the honesty and detail of the Catania report, even if there are parts of it that I dispute. Exposing our own shortcomings in a report like this should remind us to stop preaching quite so much to others outside of the EU. Many in this House queued up to lambast America over extraordinary rendition and to criticise European governments that cooperated with the CIA. Personally I would be horrified if we had not cooperated in any way with the CIA against terrorist fanatics who would destroy our way of life.
There is no mention in this report of Italy’s action, for instance, of deporting foreign criminals. Such a popular and successful policy, as it would appear, is obviously far too controversial to highlight here. It is also a serious blow to the unquestioning, absolutist dogma that has infected the debate about human rights. I wish, for instance, that in my country, the United Kingdom, we had deported a foreign criminal like the Italian citizen in my London constituency who murdered his headmaster but, after serving a jail sentence, was allowed by judges to stay in the UK, citing his human rights. Law-abiding citizens in Europe deserve to know that their own rights are protected against people who would seek to attack them.