Saturday 1 October 2016

Brexit to hamper policing practices

Published 26/07/2016 | 02:30

The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU effectively scuppers the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which has been the cornerstone of extradition agreements between the two jurisdictions for more than a decade.
Stock photo: PA
The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU effectively scuppers the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which has been the cornerstone of extradition agreements between the two jurisdictions for more than a decade. Stock photo: PA

Close policing co-operation between gardaí and forces in Northern Ireland and Britain will be seriously hampered post-Brexit - unless the UK can successfully negotiate similar arrangements.

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The UK's decision to withdraw from the EU effectively scuppers the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which has been the cornerstone of extradition agreements between the two jurisdictions for more than a decade.

The EAW replaced cumbersome extradition arrangements, which regularly ran into legal difficulties. It has been used to extradite suspects facing charges for criminal and terrorist offences between Ireland and other EU countries, including the UK, since 2004 and has speeded up the process by removing political and administrative obstacles and turning it into a system run entirely by the judiciary.

But Brexit means the EAW will no longer apply to the UK if a deal cannot be struck in the negotiations.

It also spells an end to the UK's involvement in Eurodac, which is the fingerprint database for identifying asylum seekers and irregular border crossers.

At the moment, all EU member states take part in Eurodac, as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

But the UK's future involvement will again be determined by the negotiations over the next two years.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said she was ready to work with the UK authorities to sort out the issues arising from the Leave vote.

Irish Independent

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