Brexit And Crucial Law Enforcement Activities: Joint Probes to Continue

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Brexit And Crucial Law Enforcement Activities: Joint Probes to Continue

 Brexit And Crucial Law Enforcement Activities: Joint Probes to Continue


  • The UK will conduct joint probes with EU member nations, which would be overseen by EU authorities.
  • A lot of bureaucratic hurdles are expected to cause unnecessary delays in joint probes

On Christmas eve, the United Kingdom signed a last-minute trade deal with the European Union to avoid the chaos that could have resulted in no-deal Brexit. However, keeping things for last minute and adhering to tight deadlines often lead to policy disarray such as law enforcement infrastructure. In the case of Brexit, the situation could have been worse.

Post Brexit, the UK has left the Eurozone, and unlike other member countries of the EU, the UK has lost its privilege to access to certain law enforcement agencies such as the Europol. Despite the challenges due to the pandemic, the UK is negotiating processes for handling crucial law enforcement activities such as cross-border information sharing, criminal records, and extraditions with the EU. The UK still might be able to get help from the EU in cross-border probes, however, with a lot of bureaucratic hurdles.

(Image source: ©Kalkine Group 2020)

Also read: Brexit trade deal: What still remains unresolved between the UK and EU

With an increase in red tape, law enforcement might get tougher and less successful. Moreover, stringent bureaucratic and excessive regulations would lead to slower, painful, and expensive investigations. The new arrangement is far more complicated and time consuming.

In recent years, a lot of white-collar crimes, including foreign bribery, have risen. The lost identity of the UK as an EU member can cost it dearly in the space of law enforcement. However, in this matter, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, which investigates economic crimes is expected to forge relationships with the European enforcement counterparts.

The UK is expected to negotiate a security and law enforcement relationship similar to that of non-EU members. In order to avoid any disruption, the UK is expected to place liaison officers and prosecutors within Europol and Eurojust, the EU’s judicial cooperation agency to facilitate cooperation.

The new arrangement has its own pitfalls. The EU maintains a vast repository for law enforcement-related alerts and information known as the Schengen Information System that captures real-time information.

Post Brexit, the UK has lost access to this system. The European system is capable of fast paced information sharing extradition and was designed to minimise protracted litigation. Moreover, the UK authorities have accessed the system million times in 2019.

The UK is expected to carry out joint investigations with member nations of the EU. According to the new arrangement, the data privacy laws would be applicable, and the documents would be shared with the SFO. However, the joint operation would be governed by the EU authorities.


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