Michel Barnier made clear on Wednesday that the UK cannot retain the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) as a “third country, outside Schengen and outside the EU’s legal order.”
The warrant allows EU member states to request the arrest and detention of any criminal in any EU member state. The UK wants to retain that arrangement.
The comment made during a speech in Vienna means that security and defence cooperation between the UK and the EU will be downgraded.
According to the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, the EAW is linked to the free movement of people and EU citizenship. The UK wants to disrupt free movement of people and refuses to retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights, undermining the concept of European citizenship. Finally, the rejection of European Court of Justice (ECJ) means that the UK has no legal path to retaining the EAW.
“They want to maintain all the benefits of the current relationship while leaving the EU regulatory, supervision, and application framework,” Barnier noted. He went on to add that “this does not mean that we cannot work together on extradition.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis is making the case that the EU benefits more than the UK from the EAW, insisting that there is “no legal or operational reason why such an agreement could not be reached.”
According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, the EU 27 requested the arrest of 14,279 UK-based suspects in 2015-6, while the UK made 241 such requests during the same period.
In addition to being expelled from the EAW agreement, the UK will no longer have automatic access to EU police databases. However, passenger name record may continue to be shared.
Police authorities in Northern Ireland have raised concerns over law enforcement after Brexit, especially if the UK is no longer party to the European Arrest Warrant.