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Labour MEPs today warned any u-turn on opting back into the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) will hamper the fight against crime by making it harder to bring criminals to book.

Claude Moraes MEP, Labour MEP for London and chair of the European Parliament civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, said:

"The EAW has been a major success, reducing extradition times to an average of 48 hours or less since 2004 when it came into force. Prior to this, it took months or even years or never happened at all. Hundreds of serious criminals and some terrorists have been prosecuted as an exact result of the EAW.

"British officers often compare the speedy extradition of Hussein Osman from Italy in 2005 under a European Arrest Warrant with the situation that prevailed in the 1990s when France and Germany would not extradite their own nationals.

"Labour has always said we need to reform the European Arrest Warrant in relation to issues such as proportionality in order to strengthen its advantages, but if David Cameron and Theresa May reverse their plans to opt back in to the EAW it will not be in the interest of the British people, but purely designed to meet the political needs of the Conservative Party."

Claude Moraes MEP added:

"This ideological obsession of the Tory Party with Europe ignores the basic, unavoidable facts that the UK has enjoyed hugely successful cross-border cooperation which has seen credible results to UK citizens. This display of political opportunism has the potential of causing serious damage to UK security and safety.

"As the single market and free movement has become a reality, so too has the increase in cross-border crimes. Drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal immigration and terrorism are all crimes that now operate beyond national boundaries.

"It is exactly these types of cross-border issues EU justice and home affairs policy aims to prevent. Even in the past two years we have seen the UK sign up to EU legislation on protecting victims of crime, combating human trafficking and protecting citizens’ rights to data protection.

"In addition to this, and even more worrying, a decision to trigger the opt-out could pose a threat to national security as the UK would no longer be able to use agencies, shared databases, funding and instruments in law enforcement which the UK police force depend on so regularly to protect citizens."

Criminals will cheer Eurosceptic demands for no European Arrest Warrant

Labour MEPs today warned any u-turn on opting back into the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) will hamper the fight against crime by making it harder to bring criminals to book....

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UKIP's group in the European Parliament was dissolved today following the resignation from the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group of a Latvian MEP.

Iveta Grigule's departure means there are now only six nationalities represented in the EFDD group - below the seven required. The group now falls apart, with UKIP losing funding, committee places, speaking time and status.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's leader in Europe, said:

"While a massive blow to Nigel Farage, this news makes little difference for Britain. UKIP's group may have given Nigel Farage a front seat soapbox from which he could preen for the cameras, but it has never helped advance British interests.

"The EFDD comprised people with extreme views - and to resurrect his group, Mr Farage will probably have to turn to even more racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic allies."

UKIP group's demise a blow for Farage but makes little difference to Britain

UKIP's group in the European Parliament was dissolved today following the resignation from the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group of a Latvian MEP.

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Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour MEP for the East Midlands and Labour's European spokesperson on health, today received the Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Belgian Association of Clinical Researchers.

The award recognises Ms Willmott's extensive work on encouraging medical research and ensuring full transparency of clinical trial results.

Glenis Willmott MEP said:

“I am thrilled to be receiving this award from the experts in medical research. Three years ago, I visited a brain tumour centre in Nottingham where I met children suffering from some of the rarest cancers. For some of these children a clinical trial might be their only hope of survival.

"But because the conditions are so rare, researchers needed to work across borders and conduct a trial in a number of different countries at the same time. Currently that is very difficult and extremely expensive, but the new EU rules I have negotiated should facilitate those life-saving cross-border trials.”

Currently the results of only half of all trials are published, which can lead to unnecessary or even dangerous research being repeated. It can also lead to bad decision-making around health, as demonstrated recently by the stockpiling of billions of pounds worth of flu medicines, which previously unpublished trial results had shown were not particularly effective.

Glenis Willmott MEP added:

"These new rules will mean the results of trials must be published, advancing science and ensuring patient safety."

"I hope these rules will encourage more research in the UK, and a more transparent system for pharmaceuticals across the whole of Europe."

Labour MEP receives Outstanding Leadership Award

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour MEP for the East Midlands and Labour's European spokesperson on health, today received the Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Belgian Association of Clinical Researchers.

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