The UK has executed European Arrest Warrants (“EAW”) at a rate of eight times as many as any other EU member state for the fourth year in a row. According to the Home Office, since the EAW came into force in the UK, over 10,000 individuals have been surrendered. These figures highlight the UK’s integral role in the operation of the EAW scheme.
The UK is scheduled to leave the EAW scheme at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. The future of the UK-EU security and extradition relationship after that date are the subject of the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
One sticking point in the negotiations is the EU stance that cases involving the interpretation of EU law must have in place a referral mechanism to the Court of Justice. The UK is resisting such a move and additionally is seeking the introduction of additional safeguards into extradition arrangements between the UK and EU member states. It remains to be seen how persuasive the UK’s high level of participation in the regime will be in the negotiations.