Speaking at the Northern Ireland Stronger in Europe ‘town hall’-style event in Belfast today, Mr Ford brought his experience as Justice Minister to proceedings, saying a Brexit could see a major change made to cross-border law.
“I am a proud citizen of the EU. Simply put, Britain and Northern Ireland’s position in Europe is to the benefit of our society,” he said.
“The EU positively benefits the justice systems on this island. All cross-border justice operations are based around the European Arrest Warrant, which we will lose if we leave the EU, complicating extradition of politically-motivated criminal suspects from the Republic to the UK.
“In addition, we benefit in a host of other ways – economically and socially – that have brought down barriers across Europe and which a Brexit vote would put a risk.
“Leaving the EU would be a massive step backwards for the UK, including Northern Ireland – a backwards step we simply can’t afford to take. Only by remaining in the EU can our society continue to move forward.”