Alec Dauncey, Welsh Liberal Democrat European candidate, has welcomed the news that Conservative plans to opt out of key EU crime-fighting measures have been blocked by Liberal Democrats in coalition government.
Earlier today, following prolonged negotiations within the coalition, Theresa May announced that the government will be opting back in to 35 of the 136 pre-2009 EU police and judicial cooperation measures, including those deemed vital by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Alec Dauncey commented:
"The Tories are now so blinded by their anti-EU ideology that they have become soft on crime. They were proposing to abandon key European crime-fighting measures which leading law enforcement figures have repeatedly warned are vital for Britain's national security. 21st century criminal gangs do not stop at our borders. Neither should our efforts to pursue them and bring them to justice.
"Liberal Democrats are determined not to let ideology trump the safety of the British people, and the party has worked hard to ensure that reason prevails. The UK will remain part of crucial measures such as the European Arrest Warrant, which has led to the capture of thousands of gangsters, murderers, paedophiles and terrorists such as attempted London bomber Hussein Osman.
"One of Britain's most wanted men, drug trafficker Mark Lilley, was captured just this week at his luxury villa in Malaga in a joint operation by Spanish and British police. Our police must continue to have the tools necessary to keep us safe and tackle cross-border crimes such as drug-trafficking, people-smuggling and terrorism effectively."
"As a Member of the European Parliament for Wales I would work to ensure that arrangements agreed between countries working together would preserve effective UK participation in practical pan-EU police cooperation."