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'Graham Colley, LibDems PCC for Kent say's joining Lugano Treaty is important for legal services industry'

April 18, 2021 12:37 PM
By Graham Colley

Legal JusticeGraham Colley, Liberal Democrat PCC for Kent and also President of LibDemLawyers, expressed concern at reports that the European Commission had decided to oppose the UK Government attempt to rejoin Lugano Convention, an agreement which decides which countries courts have jurisdiction over civil and disputes that cross borders.

I said on 29 December, 2020 "'Brexit Bad Deal is not just bad for trade, it reduces Kent's Safety' Brexit means that the UK will no longer be a member of 30 EU criminal justice bodies which every day help keep people in Kent and across Europe safe" (press release from 29th December attached)

Membership of the Lugano Convention is important for the British legal services industry, which is a major service exporter to the EU and other countries worldwide. Failure to be part of the convention not only will make court cases more expensive but harder to enforce judgements. It will also affect small and medium-sized companies as well as individuals, since Judgements apply throughout Europe.

"So", continued Graham Colley, "as well as making Brexit making Kent less safe, it also affects Kent businesses who wish to trade in Europe. It creates burdens for Kent businesses that will not be borne by others in the Single Market."

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS: PRESS RELEASE ATTACHED FROM 29TH DECEMBER 2020

Subject: 'Brexit Bad Deal is not just bad for trade, it reduces Kent's Safety'

Brexit means that the UK will no longer be a member of 30 EU criminal justice bodies which every day help keep people in Kent and across Europe safe.

Graham Colley, who has been selected by Kent Liberal Democrats as their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election said: "The country will lose its access to some very important databases. Whilst it will have continued access to others, for example the system which checks fingerprints across the EU, Security cooperation, such as through the Schengen Information System (SIS2), will no longer be based on a "real time" basis. In tracking crime, delay can facilitate escape.

UK will also lose the right to send a legally binding "European Investigation Order" to other member states in the EU to gather evidence. Outside of the EU, after 1 January 2021, this right will be lost and police will have to rely on a diplomatic request for assistance. Such "Letters Rogatory" are slower and are sometimes ignored. In certain circumstances, such as obtaining vacant about flight passenger , that data will only be made available under more rigid conditions.

The UK's future in Europol, the European security agency, will only allow it to sit in on meetings. It will no longer have a direct say in decisions. (The UK becomes a rule-taker, rather than a rule maker).

In addition, matters can no longer be taken to the European Court of Justice for a judicial ruling on data access disputes but to a committee.Whilst these may be as good as other "3rd countries" have managed to negotiate with the EU, it is worse than we had as a Member State.

The Conservatives arcane view of "sovereignty" also means they have abandoned European Arrest Warrant, which meant there was 'no hiding place'for criminals who fled to other European countries. Britain will have to rely on a 1957 extradition treaty to attempt to get back suspects from Costa del Crime or terrorists such as in 2005 with Hussain Osman, the attempted London bomber.

Kent is the gateway to England from continental Europe. The safety of people in Kent will be reduced because, the speed with which important data can be obtained, and the influence the UK government has on criminal justice and security decisions, has been diminished.

The Conservative "Deal" was rushed through and will have almost no parliamentary consideration. There will be no time to consider policing or security issues. Like the rest of Brexit, it will be bad for Britain and bad for the safety of the people of Kent."

ENDS

Additional Information:

Graham Colley has been selected to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate in this year's Police & Crime Commissioner election.

"I am delighted to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate to stand in the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner's election. I have been a vocal supporter of Kent Police and will campaign for more frontline officers and improved visibility of policing, especially in rural areas of the county. Both things I will take forward into the election campaign and hopefully beyond."

Graham is a very active campaigner for the Lib Dems and enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities and does a great deal of voluntary work in the community.

Graham is President of the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association-/Rights-Liberties-Justice (Newsletter editor and former Chair).

  • He studied Law at Aberystwyth and European Law at the College of Europe and has an MBA from City University Business School. Graham has recently completed a research degree in Banking Reform at the University of Kent.

  • He has been a Legal Aid lawyer in Lambeth, Westminster and Chatham and now has a practice specialising in Wills and Inheritance issues.

  • Graham has shown years of service to the Party in Kent fighting for Liberalism and the European ideal, fighting to help overcome the divisions in Society.