PM faces EU TV grilling amid row over deporting criminals


David Cameron will face a grilling from a live television audience later as one of his ministers warned that European Union membership made it harder to deport killers and rapists.

Brexit campaigners claimed laws from Brussels meant British judges were unable to return foreign offenders to their EU countries of origin, with justice minister Dominic Raab warning that UK families were less safe as a result.

Meanwhile, the Remain camp continued to focus on the economy, highlighting a £34.4 billion "export tax" on firms which trade with the EU if the country backs Leave on June 23.

Vote Leave published a dossier of 50 criminals - including Learco Chindamo, who was convicted of the 1995 murder of headmaster Philip Lawrence - that the UK has been unable to deport.

Mr Raab said: "Free movement of people allows unelected judges in the rogue European Court to decide who we can and can't deport. This puts British families at risk.

"It squanders UK taxpayers' money on keeping them in prison - and that's on top of the £50 million we send to the EU every day."

Vote Leave warned that EU free movement rules prioritise the rights of criminals over public safety by preventing deportation.

The group claimed the problem would get worse as the European Court of Justice uses the Charter of Fundamental Rights to entrench the right of offenders to stay in the UK.

But immigration minister James Brokenshire said the Prime Minister's deal with Brussels gave the UK greater control over deportation and warned that Brexit would deprive the UK of the ability to use the European Arrest Warrant.

Meanwhile, Britain Stronger In Europe warned that non-tariff barriers, such as complying with customs rules and regulations in destination countries, will cost exporters an average of almost £80,000 each.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid and former EU trade commissioner Lord Mandelson wrote to Vote Leave demanding answers about their plans for the post-Brexit economy.

They said: "The economic damage of leaving is now clear. UK businesses could face a £34 billion export tax if we leave, which would hit jobs and growth, with each exporting business facing on average £80,000 in additional costs.

"This follows evidence which shows our trade could fall by £200 billion and up to 820,000 jobs could be lost."

The pair will highlight the findings of the Remain campaign's analysis, which indicates that leaving the EU's single market would create non-tariff barriers costing UK businesses that export to the EU £34.4 billion. 

The Prime Minister will face questions from members of the public in a live ITV broadcast at 9pm along with Ukip leader Nigel Farage - although the two men will not go head-to-head.

Mr Farage, who will be questioned first, said: "I'm looking forward to it. I feel the wind is in our sails, but I am expecting robust questioning from an interested and intelligence audience."