Cameron faces backbench rebels on European arrest warrant
Dozens of eurosceptic lawmakers from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party were set to vote against Britain joining the European Arrest Warrant system on Monday although the motion is expected to be approved by parliament.
Between 50 and 100 MPs from the ruling party could cast their votes against the government in a backbench rebellion that comes amid growing tensions between London and Brussels and increased public support for the anti-EU UK Independence Party.
Interior minister Theresa May called on fellow Conservatives to distinguish between their desire for EU reforms and the vote on the warrant, which she said the country needed to get other EU countries to extradite wanted criminals to Britain.
"It helps us to tackle cross-border crimes, deport foreign criminals, track down those who seek to evade the law and bring them to justice," May said in a letter.
Some Conservative MPs have opposed the warrant saying it will make it too easy for Britons to be extradited on relatively minor charges and the government may be forced to rely on votes from the opposition Labour party to pass the measure.
The government opted out of all EU police and criminal justice measures last year but now wants to re-join some of them before that decision comes into effect on December 1.
The vote comes ahead of a by-election contest in Rochester and Strood in southeast England which UKIP is expected to win, gaining a second seat in parliament.
© 2014 AFP