House of Commons debate "Motion relating to UK extradition arrangements" - passed orally

Tonight, Conservive MP for Esher and Walton was granted a Debate on Extradition on the floor of the House of Commons , following the less important one he secured in Westminster Hall on 24th November.

Business >House of Commons, Session 2010-12, Order of Business Monday 5 December 2011

That this House calls upon the Government to reform the UK's extradition arrangements to strengthen the protection of British citizens by introducing as a matter of urgency a Bill to enact the safeguards recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its Fifteenth Report, HC 767, and by pursuing such amendments to the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 and the EU Council Framework Decision 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant as are necessary in order to give effect to such recommendations.

The Chamber of the House of Commons was poorly attended, and both the Gary McKinnon and Babar Ahmad cases were mentioned in detail by their constituency MPs and by the Conservative Immigration Minsiter Damian Green (who also replied for the Government in the Westmninster Hall debate).

There were some shocking examples of "rough justice" invoilving the European Arrest Warrant given by other Constituency MPs.

Even the appallingly authoritarian and incompetent former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett spoke in the debate. He is personally resposible for rubber stamping the new US / UK extradition treaty through (he signed it on behalf of the UK, before the text of it was even shown to Parliament or the British public) and for the Extradition Act 2003 (Tony Blair's Labour Government had a big majority and the Official Opposition was pathetic). This was enacted in 2040 and applied retrospectively to Gary McKinnon case, who was arrested in 2002.

Blunkett recounted some of his efforts to get Gary McKinnon tried via video link in a court in the USA, but physically in the UK, something which would require a complete change of US legislation and which was obviously doomed to failure (there are no such arrangements for video link trial to British courts to foreign countries either).

At the end, the Debate was "voted on" by the House of Commons orally, by acclamation, with no audible voices of dissent: "The Ayes have it, the Ayes have it"

This means that there is no record of how individual MPs actually voted or abstained or were not present for the debate.

This vote does not bind the Government to actually do anything.

The transcript of this Debate are avialable online: UK Extradition Arrangements, UK Extradition Arrangements, Backbench Business, 6:48 pm 5th December 2011

Have the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government politicians delivered on their pre-election promises regarding reform of Extradition practices ? Clearly the answer is still not yet

Will there be any rapid resolution of the Gary McKinnon or Babar Ahmad or other Extradition cases mentioned today during the debate ? No - the current Government claims to be doing everything it can already (just like the previous Labour government pretended to).