This week, Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, issued a stark warning, that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will make extraditions take longer and become more expensive. If the UK does not manage to leave the EU with a deal, instead of using the harmonised European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system, the UK may have to negotiate individual extradition arrangements with EU Member States.
Mr Hill explained that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has already hired more staff to help ease the difficulty which will be caused by a ‘no-deal Brexit’, which he anticipates will “make it harder to bring suspects into this country for trial and then to remove individuals to EU states”. Mr Hill explained that it was necessary to expand the Extradition Unit of the CPS because “if the workload increases we need to provide more lawyers, a more robust structure particularly in the field of EU investigations and that will come at a higher cost.”
It is not only the UK’s removal from the EAW system which will be problematic. Without a deal, after March 2019, we will also no longer have access to mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders. This means that if UK courts freeze the bank accounts of suspected criminals or confiscate the proceeds of crime, it will be harder for the UK to insist that EU Member States follow suit and vice versa.
Categories: United Kingdom