A majority of the public say British citizens who commit crimes abroad should be punished under local laws
As the Queen and David Cameron welcome United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan to the UK, the government faces calls to urge leniency for three Britons in prison in the UAE for drug offences. On Monday, amid claims that they are being tortured in prison, three young Londoners were sentenced to four years in prison for possession of synthetic cannabis.
Latest YouGov research now reveals that 65% of Britons think that British citizens who break the law in foreign countries should face punishment there, even if that law does not exist in the UK or if punishments are far more lenient in the UK. 23% said that the government should try and get sentences reduced or even have them returned to the UK.
The figures vary according to voting intention, with Conservatives (73%) and UKIP (78%) being more likely than Labour (56%) or Liberal Democrat (61%) voters to think British citizens should face punishment abroad.
Asked about what the government has done to help the three men, David Cameron said that the government has repeatedly brought up the issue of the three men with UAE authorities, in particular the lack of an independent medical evaluation.