Brussels red tape damages UK plc and have to be reformed, Theresa May says –

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One example of the way Mrs May wants to reform the relationship is with the
controversial European Arrest Warrant which critics say give foreign
prosecutors too much influence over British courts.

As many as 100 Conservative MPs are likely to withhold their support for
legislation to bind Britain into signing up to the warrant in a Commons

However Mrs May set out in her article how she has personally negotiated to
make the way the warrant system workers fairer to try to win over her

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has pledged to hold an in/out referendum on
Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017 if the Tories win May’s
general election outright.

Mrs May’s intervention came as George Osborne said the EU was not value for
money and that greater efficiency was needed.

The Chancellor, who last week declared that he had forced Brussels to halve a
£1.7billion budget bill, said it was “a tragedy that the last Labour
government signed away a lot of the rebate.

“I don’t think we get full value for money for all those pounds that get sent
to the European Union.

“We need much better efficiency in the European Union, we need money spent on
things that are going to create jobs in the European Union, not waste money
in the European Union.”

The news came as more than 500 business leaders signed a letter in The
Telegraph calling for all political parties to promise a referendum on the
UK’s continued membership of the EU in 2017.

Hedge fund billionaire Sir Michael Hintze and Henry Angest, the City
financier, have signed up to the Business for Britain campaign.

It means that more than 1,000 business leaders have put their names to the
campaign since it was formed just 18 months ago.

However former Tory Cabinet minister Michael Portillo urged Mr Cameron not to
have a referendum because the Eurosceptics would lose and the “British
establishment would re-emerge to claim that Britain had asserted its
European destiny”.

The intervention came as the Tories seized their first lead in The Telegraph’s
ICM Wisdom Index poll for six months, reversing Labour’s lead in just a
month and deepening the crisis of confidence over Ed Miliband’s leadership.

The Labour leader will warn that Mr Cameron’s threat to leave the EU
represents “a clear and present danger to Britain’s future prosperity” and
national interest.

Mr Miliband will say accuse those who say Britain should pull out of the EU
will put millions of British jobs and businesses in jeopardy.

Exiting the EU will be a “disaster” for the UK because it would weaken the
UK’s ability to work with the new economies, like Brazil, India and China.

He will say: “It would risk businesses billions of pounds in lost profits. It
would risk millions of jobs. It would make Britain weaker, not stronger, in
the world.

“Every nod and wink to those who want to leave sends a message to potential
investors in our country that we are not open for business.

“It is a betrayal of our national interest. It is a clear and present danger
to our future prosperity.

“If I am Prime Minister I will never risk your businesses, British jobs, or
British prosperity by playing political games with our membership of the
European Union.

“We will reform the European Union not threaten to leave, not pretend that is
the answer, not playing fast and loose with Britain’s future, Britain’s
prosperity and your businesses.”

Mrs May faces a bruising time in the House of Commons right wing Conservative
MPs are set to refuse to back plans to hand more law and order powers to

MPs are voting on plans to opt back in 35 out of 140 law and order policy
areas including the controversial European Arrest warrant which is used to
extradite criminals.

Right wing Tories like Jacob Rees-Mogg are worried that the changes will give
foreign judges powers over British courts and allow them to extradite
Britons for minor breaches of the law.

As many as 100 Conservative MPs are likely to withhold their support for the
plans in a Commons vote on Monday, including between 30 and 40 MPs who will
vote against.

Even if the European Arrest Warrant legislation is passed, Stuart Wheeler, the
former Ukip treasurer, has pledged to block it with a £150,000 bid at the
High Court action on Tuesday.

The vote could prove embarrassing coming days before the Tories are expected
to lose next week’s Rochester and Strood by-election.

The article by Mrs May – who is seen in Westminster as one of the favourites
to succeed David Cameron when he stands down as Tory leader – is the first
time she has set out in clear terms how she sees Britain’s relationship with
the EU if the UK is to remain a member.

Mrs May made clear that “Britain’s relationship with Europe must change”, but
she took a sideswipe at the UK Independence Party’s Nigel Farage saying that
“politicians who argue that we are better off out” are wrong.

Instead she argued that it will only be in Britain’s “national interest to
remain members of the European Union” if Britain can one of a “more flexible
union of sovereign member states who use treaties and institutions to trade
freely and cooperate in the fight against crime and terrorism”.

Britain needed the arrest warrant to protect Britons from murderers,
paedophiles, violent thugs and terrorists, she said.

New concessions – such as only allowing extraditions for serious offences and
if a charging decision has been taken – to make the “deeply flawed” Warrant
operate more fairly.

The result of the changes was that “dozens” of applications have been refused
since July.

She added: “The Arrest Warrant as it operates now is fairer, but it is still
every bit as effective when it comes to protecting the public from serious
crime and terrorism.”

In the past five years, she said, thousands of criminals had been extradited
from the UK to Europe after an Arrest Warrant was issued, including suspects
wanted for 124 murders, more than 100 rapes, nearly 500 serious assaults and
seven terrorism cases.

Mrs May said that if Britain did not sign up to the warrant 22 other EU states
– such as including France, Germany and Spain – could refuse to extradite
wanted criminals to the UK.

She said: “The Arrest Warrant – and the 34 other measures the Government
proposes we opt back into – are practical measures that are necessary to
protect us from serious criminals and terrorists.

“If we want to stop foreign criminals from coming to Britain, deal with
European fighters coming back from Syria, stop British criminals evading
justice abroad, prevent foreign criminals evading justice by hiding here,
and get foreign criminals out of our prisons, these measures are vital.

“Tomorrow evening, the House of Commons should vote to give the police,
prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies the powers they need to keep
us safe.”

Brussels red tape damages UK plc and have to be reformed, Theresa May says –