The ability to track down those who have committed crimes and terrorist atrocities in Northern Ireland, who may very well be in the Republic of Ireland, is dependent on the police and security forces having access to EUROPOL and the European Arrest Warrant.
If we lose access to these important tools following Brexit we could see our police and security forces hampered in bringing about justice. The Secretary of State was able to praise the current work of all police forces on the island of Ireland, but failed to say if we will maintain our partnership in EUROPOL and the European Arrest Warrant.
Protecting ourselves from crime by giving the police and security agencies the resources they need is of utmost importance. That is why at Home Office Questions I pressured the Government to commit to retain the European Arrest Warrant, cooperation with European police forces and to use all our powers to bring those who have committed crimes to justice.
On Monday, the Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, made a statement to the House of Commons following her meeting in Brussels with other European leaders.
I asked the Prime Minister if she would confirm that remaining within the European Arrest Warrant, EUROJUST and EUROPOL will be in the interests of the UK. Read more “PM Statement on European Council Meeting”
On Thursday, I asked the Solicitor-General, Robert Buckland MP, about the European Arrest Warrant.
Many arrests are completed due to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW)streamlining the arrest process. If the Government fails to keep the UK part of the EAW it will be placing us at risk from organised criminals who will see the UK as a safe haven.
I asked the Solicitor-General to work with the Home Office to make sure the EAW remains a useful tool whatever the outcome of Brexit.
I was pleased to hear the Solicitor-General was in broad agreement with me. But as we know with this Government, one Minister stating an approach to Brexit may not necessarily be the collective opinion. I will continue to press on security matters as this is the first role of government.