Dr Julian Lewis: How does the Minister respond to the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis) that an innocent person finding themselves on trial in the United States –our closest ally, as we all agree – would nevertheless be put under intolerable pressure to plead guilty, because if he gambles on proving his innocence and fails, he faces an enormous sentence, whereas if he confesses to a crime that he did not commit, he can get off with a few months in jail?
[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Chris Philp): The argument that my right hon. Friend advances is essentially that the US justice system is inherently not fit for purpose. Of course, the rules that he describes apply as much to US citizens as they do to anyone else. Although the practice of plea bargaining in the United States is not one that we have in this jurisdiction, I do not think I would agree with the general proposition that the US justice system is inherently unjust, and that it is so bad that we cannot allow anyone to be taken there from this jurisdiction because the system is so terrible that justice will not be done. I do not accept that characterisation.
Of course there are points of difference, as has been pointed out, but I do not think those points of difference are such that we should simply turn around and say, “We will have nothing to do with the United States at all.” That is not a conclusion that I share or concur with, and therefore I do not think it is a basis on which we would want to discontinue all extradition relations.]