Security is not a zero-sum game: both parties would benefit from a sensible replacementby Anna Nadibaidze / June 6, 2018 / Leave a comment
There is hardly any policy area which in one way or another will not be affected by Brexit. While the debate has so far largely focused on the trade implications, more recently it has become clear that finding an agreement on the future security partnership will not be an easier task. Whether the UK will remain a party to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is only one question in the debate about future UK-EU security arrangements.
Introduced in 2004 and based on the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions across the EU, the EAW allows member states to request the extradition of an individual from another EU country, while imposing strict time limits on the surrender procedures. For a wide range of offences, the EAW eliminates the need for the warrant’s recipient country to recognise the crime on which the individual in question is charged in its domestic policing system. Furthermore, the EAW removes the possibility of rejecting extradition on political grounds.
Only EU member states have access to the EAW. Once outside the EU, the UK is expected to no longer be a party, as EU sources have recently confirmed. Losing access to the EAW system could create some problems. In fact, the implications of Brexit on extraditions are already starting to become apparent: the Irish Supreme Court has recently refused to extradite an individual convicted of tax fraud in the UK on the ground that the latter will have left EU by the end of the man’s sentence, and the UK government has signalled its intention not to apply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after Brexit. With future security arrangements still being negotiated, extradition and surrender procedures involving UK citizens and going beyond Brexit are likely to be halted until a deal is found.
The key question that will determine the impact of Brexit on extraditions in the long-term revolves around the prospects of striking a new effective agreement to substitute the EAW. Broadly speaking, the UK is faced with several different possibilities in this respect.
It could fall back on the 1957 European Convention on Extradition, which was in place before the EAW. This could be combined with separate bilateral agreements with specific countries, and be…