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UK to withdraw from European arrest warrant scheme

The British Government said it wanted to reach its own, separate fast-track extradition arrangement with Brussels.

Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth

THE UK IS to leave the European Arrest Warrant scheme which allows for the fast transfer of suspects across the EU. 

The British Government said it wanted to reach its own, separate fast-track extradition arrangement with Brussels.

The move comes as the UK sets out its guidelines for post-Brexit negotiations which cover trade and other aspects of the future relationship with Brussels.

The guidelines set the deadline for progress against a backdrop of deep divisions between the two sides over issues including fish, state subsidies and standards.

The government has set out its plans for the talks ahead of the first round of negotiations on Monday, making clear that it “will not negotiate any arrangements in which the UK does not have control of its own laws and political life”.

Some European countries, including Germany, have laws which forbid the extradition of their nationals to non-EU countries, creating a potential problem.

The UK wants law enforcement – and a series of other issues – covered by separate arrangements from the main trade deal, but the EU wants a single partnership agreement covering all aspects of the future relationship, with a single “overall governance framework” to monitor it.

The EU also warned that any co-operation must be based on the UK remaining signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights which was written into domestic law in the Human Rights Act, legislation which the Tories have promised to “update”.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the home affairs committee, said the UK’s withdrawal from the European Arrest Warrant scheme represented a “huge scaling back in ambition” for a close security partnership with the EU. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, said the UK walk away from trade talks with the European Union in June unless there is the “broad outline” of a deal.

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