The UK will be kicked out of the European Arrest Warrant if the government’s Brexit strategy goes ahead, the EU chief negotiator has warned.
Incredibly the Government wants to remain part of the system but has not yet grasped that to remain part of it, it cannot leave the European Court of Justice or the free movement scheme.
It’s astonishing that while on the one hand the Government recognises the importance of staying within it meanwhile it is doing everything it possibly can to sabotage our ability to remain part of it.
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is a hugely important mechanism whereby EU member states can request the detention of criminals and is able to do so without having to apply for extradition which s a lengthy and bureaucratic process.
Instead of the UK being part of the EAW Barnier has suggested that the UK and the EU may be able to establish a streamlined extradition process. But this is reliant on several factors including agreement from all 27 EU member states, and it won’t be nearly as effective as remaining part of the EAW which is an efficient and effective system.
This is an incredibly serious situation which inevitably will have operational consequences for UK law enforcement. The UK will only have very limited access to analysis and to data produced by Europol relating to live criminal investigations. However, it would not be able to shape the direction of the enforcement agency or have any further input.
The BBC reported: “Successive UK governments have remained strong supporters of the European Arrest Warrant – which came into force in 2004 – despite calls from some Tory MPs for it to be renegotiated or reformed.
“According to the National Crime Agency, other EU members requested the arrest of 14,279 UK-based suspects in 2015-6, up from 1,865 in 2004. The UK made 241 such requests in 2015-6, leading to 150 arrests.”
Being forced to leave the European Arrest Warrant will only serve to make the UK increasingly vulnerable.