Sunday, December 10

EU rules stopped Britain deporting murderers, rapists and violent criminals



Murderers, rapists and violent offenders from across Europe have been able to remain in Britain after their crimes, the Justice Minister will say on Tuesday as he reveals a dossier of 50 offenders who have used EU rules to avoid deportation.

Dominic Raab, who works closely with Michael Gove in the Justice department, said that British families are “at risk” because European courts are refusing to allow UK judges to deport dangerous and violent criminals back to EU countries.

Mr Raab has compiled a dossier of the 50 most serious offenders who have been allowed to remain in the UK because of Brussels red tape. As justice minister, Mr Raab has had first-hand experience of many of the cases the UK has seen thwarted.

His dossier includes an Italian man who stabbed a head teacher through the heart, a Polish woman who kicked her husband to death and a Romanian rapist who was given permanent residence in this country under the orders of the EU.

Mr Raab said: “This is yet more evidence of how EU membership makes us less safe. Free movement of people allows unelected judges in the rogue European Court to decide who we can and can’t deport. This puts British families at risk.”

The list of offenders will fuel claims that Britain is hamstrung by EU freedom of movement rules and will only be able to deport violent convicts if the country backs a Brexit on June 23.

It came as:

• A poll for this newspaper shows that the Remain and Leave campaigns are now neck-and-neck, on 48 per cent and 47 per cent of the vote respectively.

• David Cameron warned that a Brexit would be like “putting a bomb” under the UK economy .

• Dutch troops were deployed at ports across the country to check lorries after it emerged that in the first four months of 2016 almost 500 illegal migrants have been stopped attempting to get to Britain – as many as were apprehended in the whole of 2015.

• Chris Grayling, the Eurosceptic Cabinet minister, has written to Sir Jeremy Heywood, Britain’s most senior civil servant, calling on him to prevent the Bank of England and organisations like the IMF intervening in the referendum debate.

• Spread-betting firm IG said that more money is now being traded on a Brexit vote than a Remain vote.

• Business Secretary Sajid Javid and Peter Mandelson, the former Labour Cabinet minister, will say on Tuesday that a British firms could face a £34.4 billion “export tax” on trade with the EU if the country votes Leave.

A report last week warned that 5,789 criminals from overseas are free to walk the UK’s streets – the highest number since 2012 – because they are protected under EU human rights laws.

Mr Gove on Monday warned that the EU’s lack of border controls on the continent “actively abets terrorism”.

“One of the things that we can do if we else the European Union is control our borders and also control who we deport,” Mr Gove said.

“At the moment, unfortunately, the European law, which the European Court of Justice takes, has prevented us from getting rid of some people who are terrorists, or criminals who have been supporting terrorists.”

Under current British law, any foreigner who commits a “serious crime” or is sentenced to more than a year in jail qualifies for automatic deportation.

However if the convict is from the EU, that rule can be meaningless because of the bloc’s “freedom of movement” rules that allow migrants to live and work in any member state.

Research released by the Leave campaign has identified 50 cases – most occurring under Mr Cameron’s premiership – when attempts at deportation where blocked by EU law.

They include six EU nationals convicted of murder, five found guilty of sexual offences and thirteen locked up for drug dealing or similar crimes.

Among the group who could not be deported is Learco Chindamo, an Italian citizen who murdered a head teacher who tried to break up a fight but could not be deported after his life sentence expired.

Another is Theresa Rafacz, a Polish woman jailed for killing her husband by repeatedly stamping on his head in a “gratuitous” attack but allowed to stay in Britain thanks to EU rules.

Many of the European Court decisions were linked to the fact convicts are only released by a parole board when incarceration is no longer “necessary” to protect voters – calling into question why they should be made to leave the UK.

Speaking in the Commons, Sir Bill Cash, whose father was killed in Normandy during the Second World War, said that Britons who fought and died on D-Day did not do so to allow convicted EU national rapists, paedophiles and drug dealers to remain in the country.

However, D-Day veteran and former head of the Army Lord Bramall condemned Sir Bill for using the Normandy landings to boost the Leave campaign.

He said: “As a veteran of D-Day I’m disgusted at the use of this battle by the Leave campaign.

“We fought to bring World War II to an end; and greater European cooperation rather than British isolationism has helped keep the peace in Europe.

“We should stay in Europe to solve common problems not scapegoat foreigners in the way that Vote Leave is doing.”

Iain Duncan Smith, the Eurosceptic former Cabinet minister, accused Lord Bramall of making a “sickening” allegation against Sir Bill.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, admitted the Government needs to do more but said a record number of foreign offenders were deported last year.

And James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, insisted that the Prime Minister’s renegotiation with Brussels has made it easier for the UK to deport foreign criminals.

“The UK sought greater control over the deportation of foreign criminals in its EU renegotiation – and that’s precisely what the Prime Minister’s deal delivered.

“The International Law Decision we secured means our ability to deport foreign criminals is strengthened, and it is now clear that the UK can take into account the full background of a criminal in a decision over whether to deport.”