It will be more difficult to extradite dangerous criminals from the UK if there’s no deal on security as part of Brexit.
A report from the Institute for Government think tank said that failing to secure a new agreement on policing and criminal justice after Brexit would also reduce the number of people brought back to the UK to face justice.
The think tank’s ‘Negotiating Brexit: policing and criminal justice’ report said that with no new agreement, the UK would have to rely on the ‘patchwork of insufficient security arrangements’ that pre-dated its membership in the EU.
The Institute for Government said the UK currently uses the European Arrest Warrant to extradite more than 1000 people a year, whereas under the previous system the figure was less than 60.
It said it would be harder to bring people who are suspected of committing crimes back to the UK to face trial.
UK authorities will also lose access to EU-wide databases and prosecutors would struggle to work with EU partners without initiatives like Europol, it warned.
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The report said the UK has the most bespoke deal on policing cooperation of any EU country, but that wouldn’t be the case once it leaves Europe.
With the EU not accepting the UK’s proposal of an overarching security agreement, it said, it could end up with “only slightly better arrangements” than those it has with other ‘third countries’ like Canada and Norway.
The think tank said trade may dominate Brexit negotiations, but security should play a part too.
It called for both sides to break the ‘impasse’, saying the EU should accept the UK’s proposal of a comprehensive security agreement, while the UK Government should recognise that it cannot maintain all its current special arrangements and provide reassurance that after Brexit it will take the protection of personal data seriously.
“These would be evidence of a willingness to compromise and show the other EU countries that the UK is a valuable partner,” it added.