Just when we thought the UK government was going to reverse some of its aggressive nanny-state surveillance laws, it appears that instead they are passing the baton to European Union police forces, as reported in the Daily Mail:
Ministers are ready to hand sweeping Big Brother powers to EU states so they can spy on British citizens.
Foreign police will be able to travel to the UK and take part in the arrest of Britons.
They will be able to place them under surveillance, bug telephone conversations, monitor bank accounts and demand fingerprints, DNA or blood samples.
Anyone who refuses to comply with a formal request for co-operation by a foreign-based force is likely to be arrested by UK officers.
The move will spark a damaging row with backbench Tory MPs opposed to giving such draconian powers to Brussels.
The Tories were opposed to the directive in opposition, saying it showed a ‘relish for surveillance and disdain for civil liberties’.
But ministers have made a dramatic U-turn since joining the pro-EU Lib Dems in government, and the wide-ranging powers are due to be approved later this week.
According to the campaign group Fair Trials International, under the new rules it would be possible, for example, for Spanish police investigating a murder in a nightclub to demand the ID of every British citizen who flew to the country in the month the offence took place.
They could also force the UK to search its DNA database – which contains nearly one million innocent people – and send samples belonging to anybody who was in Spain at the time…
[continues in the Daily Mail]
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