A number of Tory MPs and MEPs have written to The Times to protest at the danger of Britain losing his EU veto on matters of criminal justice:
"On Friday John Reid will attend a meeting of his fellow EU home affairs and justice ministers. They will be asked to vote on proposals to remove the veto on issues currently under national control, including criminal law, criminal penalties and the judicial system.
Without a veto on these matters, Parliament and the British Government would cease to have control of the fight against crime within our own borders. Worse, the road would be open for the standardisation of the legal system, which would threaten habeas corpus, trial by jury and a host of protections guaranteed in British law but mostly absent on the Continent.
Unanimity is required in order to pass these proposals. For the good of democracy and freedom under the law, it is crucial that the Home Secretary exercises his vote against them."
The issue was discussed in more detail on yesterday’s Platform in an article by The Freedom Association’s Mark Wallace. This is how Mark concluded his piece:
"If the Government are not going to stand up for freedom under the law and Parliamentary control of criminal justice, then surely it is a perfect target for the Opposition, who have thus far remained shamefully silent. If being “in Europe and not run by Europe” means anything it all, it ought to mean retaining national control of criminal justice at the very least. David Davis surely does not believe it is acceptable for Home Office powers to be given up, nor does Graham Brady, Shadow Europe Minister, believe in ever closer Union, and yet thus far they have been inexplicably silent. In tactical terms this is a gaping open goal for the Conservative Party, and ideologically there is a fundamental principle at stake. What would our nation be if it did not control its own criminal law? What, for that matter, would the Opposition be if it does not oppose these plans?"
10.30am update: The Telegraph reports that David Davis has written a "furious" letter to John Reid about abandoning Britain’s veto.