By Ben Kerrigan-
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said a no deal Brexit will pose risks to the public, by complicating processes in place for necessary extraditions. She said a no-deal exit would threaten access to EU-wide criminal databases and make it harder to extradite people from abroad.
Dick expressed concerns to the BBC, highlighting contingency arrangements in the works. Highlighting concerns relating to the comprehensive security partnership with the EU promised by Theresa May, Dick said replacements to the usual security measures will be costly and will also put the public at risk. Her concerns really do make contingency plans a necessity to secure an orderly exit without consequences that are too damaging.
Once Brexit is officially executed, the UK will cease to be a member of law enforcement agencies Europol and Eurojust, and will no longer be a member of the European Arrest Warrant scheme. This is bad because the European Warrant Scheme enables EU nations to fast-track the extradition of criminal suspects. Areas of concern in relation to future law enforcement co-operation include the exchange of data such as DNA, fingerprints, passenger records, wanted alerts, and vehicle registrations. The EU and the Uk are currently committed to a mutual arrangement to legal and judicial co-operation.
Cressida Dick told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the UK’s policing co-operation with the EU was based on a framework of “legal instruments” which would have to be replaced after its exit.
She expressed an interest for the would end up with “something very similar”, she accepted that if the UK left without a deal, this would be “very difficult to do short term”.
“We will have to replace some of the things we currently use in terms of access to databases, the way in which we can quickly arrest and extradite people, these kinds of things, we’ll have to replace as effectively as we can.
“That will be more costly, undoubtedly, slower, undoubtedly and, potentially, yes, put the public at risk. Dick said she was discussing with other UK forces and European counterparts to determine how best to maintain European co-operation after Brexit. She wants sensible mutual contingency plans in place to guarantee order when it comes to dealing with criminals.
“We can talk about how they may happen but while so much is unknown, nothing can be put in place and it would be improper to do so,” she said.
“But we can talk with our colleagues and indeed I and my senior colleagues across policing are doing that all the time.”Ms Dick’s comments were welcomed by opponents of Brexit, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan saying the public should be given the final say in another referendum to stop the UK “crashing out” of the EU.
However, campaign group Stand Up 4 Brexit, which opposes Mrs May’s provisional deal, has called for a mutually beneficial arrangement between the UK and EU to respect existing security arrangements until deciding on what replaces them.The organisation, which says it has the backing of more than 50 Conservative MPs, said it was “very confident” that bilateral agreements could be agreed once the UK left.
“Cressida Dick accepted that they are already discussing arrangements so it can be put in place quickly,” its director Rebecca Ryan said. The Home Office said it had proposed an ambitious and legally-binding agreement on internal security as part of the withdrawal deal but the UK had to be prepared for all eventualities.
“The Home Office is working intensively with operational partners and others to ensure we are ready to make best use of the alternative channels with member states, should we exit without a deal,” a spokesperson said, adding that the National Police Chiefs’ Council was working with individual UK forces on how to manage this.