Of the 28 EU states, 9 have still not ratified the agreement. These states include Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Greece, The Irish Republic, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. These countries account for 1,600 of the EU prisoners.
And what has the EU done about it? Nothing. It has not taken out infringement proceedings against these countries but sent a letter before Xmas asking them to sort it out by March 2015.
At present there are 10,500 foreign prisoners in our prisons and 4,600 are from EU countries. They cost us £350 million a year.
The top 10 worst offenders are:
Poland with 901 prisoners
Irish Republic with 750
Romania with 521
Lithuania with 461
Portugal with 205
Latvia with 192
Netherlands with 130
Slovakia with 119
Czech Republic with 109
France with 102
Between 2010 and 2013 only 162 prisoners were sent to EU and non-EU countries. A compulsory deal with Albania has resulted in only 3 of the 334 prisoners returning home.
Prisoners claim their human rights are in danger if they get sent home to prison. A Lithuanian has already won an appeal against deportation on those grounds.
And Britain has agreed to give Poland more time to build extra prison places.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said “We are pleased that the commission has reiterated the requirement for member states to have an implementation plan by March”
Just don’t hold your breath.