If this goes ahead, we’ll know immediately that this government needs to be fought relentlessly until it is defeated.
The proposed power would allow officers from an EU country to demand information on anyone they suspect of an offence, no matter how minor or whether it is even criminal in the UK.
The directive would see UK police almost powerless to prevent the handing over of personal details such as DNA, bank account or even telephone records.
Fair Trials International (FTI) said it could result in disproportionate requests, such as demands for the DNA of plane loads of British holidaymakers following a murder in their resort.
It could also see British officers chasing crimes that are not even covered by UK law such as criminal defamation.
The EIO is designed to help law enforcement agencies in EU states share information better and be more effective in combating cross border crime.
But campaigners fear it grants significantly wider powers to foreign officers and will lead to a substantial increase in requests.
Dominic Raab, Tory MP for Esher and Walton, who raised the issue in the House of Commons yesterday, said: “Britain should not opt into this half-baked measure.
“It would allow European police to order British officers to embark on wild-goose chases.
“It would force our police to hand over personal information on British citizens, even if they are not suspects and the conduct under investigation is not a crime in this country.
“And it gives foreign police law enforcement authority on British soil.
“The Order won’t help tackle crime – it will waste police time and ditch safeguards that UK citizens expect from the British justice system.”
The Home Office has until July 28 to decide whether to opt in to the order or not.
So in two weeks time, we will know precisely where we stand regarding not just civil liberties, but regarding Dave’s promise of a referendum before handing more powers to the EU.
Oh – just one bit of dissonance to share with you from that story:
Some senior Tories are understood to be concerned about it but Whitehall sources suggested the Liberal Democrat members of the Coalition are more supportive.