Implication of Brexit on Investigation
The given Issue under concern is regarding cross border policing co-operation in the wake of Great Britian’s exit from European Union (Brexit). The changes, effects and outcomes that may likely alter the course of Investigation and methodology of solving organized crimes as a result of such action; shall be discussed in this memorandum of advice.
Since Britian is the world’s oldest democracy; it respects the sentiments of its subjects and takes their opinion very seriously. July 23, 2016 marked the most uncertain moment for the British as they opted to eject out of The European Union with a simple majority of 51.8%. The then Prime Minister David Cameron signalled his resignation foretelling the strange outcomes that may incur over the region and wished his successor to steer the nation well in the time ahead.
Britain’s Membership of European Union:
Britain was admitted to the exclusive club of European Union by enactment of European Communities Act 1972 in the 1973, Since its inception in 1957 via the Treaty of Rome to devise a safe haven for any Europeam Nation to be included for the stable, free market liberal democracy respecting rule of law and human rights. It was the Brainchild of six Nations(Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg ,Netherlands, and West Germany in 1952/57. Britain was admitted 20 years later as the French Premier Charles dr gaulle was reluctant to allow Her any seat fearing their hold over the affairs of the Union might loosen up by Britain’s addition in the years to Come., But after his death and UK’s third application; she was successful to secure her way to the EU. For the next 43 years until 2016, it remained an integral part of the Union untill the said referendum took place and resulted in favour of opting out of EU.
WHAT IS BREXIT?
Brexit is the handy phrase coined for British Exit / Impending withdrawal of UK from the EU. It marks the departure of UK from the European fraternity and the privileges they enjoy and the duties they share and rights they may claim. The motive was initially for the betterment of the British people but it had blown a sharp hit onto the economy by draining it to 2% lower and an all time low value of Pound Sterling against the Dollar.
After triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty through the Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain shall be withdrawn form the said Union latest by March 2019.
After the Exit form the Treaty, which may be either soft (i.e obliging to or managing current treaties) or hard Exit (i.e: complete opting out without respecting the current situation), their are some questions which still need to be looked into.
What happens to the commercial agreements?
How will the UK manage its future security including cross border security and policing powers?
The onset of war against terror and current syrian situation is a crucial crisis that has taken the world by storm and concerning the security in the wake of foreign threats, cogent measures have to be taken place.
Let us now eximine the latter issue in consideration.
The first prima facie impediment might be the agencies and their efficiency to deter crimes, pre and post brexit.
Since their are two main cross border agencies, it may be pertinent to discuss each of them separately under the light of white paper(s) and reports by the think-tanks
Having its headquarters in the Hague, is headed by a British since 2009 and Europol had assisted Britain more than any other European counterpart. It initiated operations in 1999 and was introduced in 1995.
In late 2016 the new regulations for the agency were opted so UK chose not to opt in but it is still entitled to vouch for it post opt in era ( i.e: November 2016)
Even if Brexit occurs effectively, the National Crime Agency (NCA) is of the opinion that:
“If we do sign it (new EUROPOL REGULATIONS), that in effect will give us the period of the Article 50 negotiations to work out how we conduct our work in the European context going forward.”52 In their view, the UK would also be in stronger position to negotiate on other priorities—such as the EAW or SIS II—”if we are still members of Europol”
European Commission too is optimistic about the negotiations underway for the imposition of the said regulations and they’ve asserted to welcome UK’s govt to Rejoin the EUROPOL.
UK and EUROPOL IN THE FUTURE:
It was recommended by the NCA and other collaborating agencies that UK opts in for the new regulations introduced in the EUROPOL as UK has to Leave JHA( justice amd home affairs) following Brexit. This should be the safest option for it to adapt new changes.
Plus, some Non EU countries also have Workig partnership with EU like Norway, Albania and USA but such agreements take much more period than anticipated (years, not months) and the degree of cooperation is different than a regular EU member.
Other option is being an operational Cooperation partner, but the system is handicapped to the extent that these members may only share intelligence and may have access to calculated database but don’t have any say in managerial matters, so for UK; these options shall not suffice as their exist extensive threats to its security at home and cross border.
As UK is the first country to break away from EU, it has the ability to set a precedent in working out for the arrangements with the EU to get the matters going in the right direction.
Then comes the question of accountability, that even if desired agreement is concluded, who should it report? Because previously EU was answerable to EU institutions and ECJ( European Court of Justice).
How shall the balance be striked?
As UK is the most actibe contributor towards security of the region and usually uses 40% of the SIENA(Secure Information Exchange Network Application), it hopes that in future; EU shall work closer with it to avert Activities involving terrorism, organised crimes and cyber crimes.
This menace, if not nipped in the bud might deliver a sharp blow to the sanctity of the system even if the incident does not take place near Europe; it may still create a rippling effect beyond borders and demarcations.
Established in 2008, Operates from HQ in Hague, has a team of 28 members ( one from each state), It works in collaboration with two or more member states for solving/ investigating/ prosecuting crimes affecting the Union which includes Mutual legal support (warrants , agreements on common approach and formation of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs))
UK has not joined the proposed 2013 regulation which called for a Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate crimes financial crimes against EU’s interests.
FUTURE OF EUROJUST AND UK:
The crown prosecution service CPS and NCA both have expressed that working in collaboration with EUROJUST has caused to save the time, fatigue and public exchequer from exhaustion by working in a smooth multilateral fashion, sharing necessary and important information in real time without unwarranted hindrances , thematically.
Though it may work like the above-mentioned situation with the EUROPOL but contains some drawbacks with it and future ventures might have teams similar to the present ones but they may be be constrained to remain to the limited manoeuvrability in the given circumstances that may better be callex “Ad hoc arrangements” in Lork Kirkhope’s view.
While UK will be distancing itself fro EU, it may also lose hold of the policy making process in the upcoming period and shall not be able to retain its position as an important voice on legislative affairs (the opposition of EUPP European Public Prosecutor has just been discussed above)
In addition to it, the time it may take to conclude an agreement that varies for mambers and non members and protracted discussions that are likely to stagnate the issue.
CRIMIMAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND BREXIT:
European Arresr Warrant (EAW) is regarded as the most useful tool for the conviction of the wanted personnels which works via the mutual recognition of jurisdiction of such warrants without the need to go through formal procedures of local Courts of issuing and receiving country.
Prior to that UK was a member of European Convention on extradition 1957, and invoking Brexit means going back to the old system which shall have a serious repercussion in the shape of the length of time in the extradition procedure that might down play the security and safety aspect of the region, more over the other nations have the right ti refuse UK the access to extradite their nationals to UK for trial . These countries include France, Germany, Spain.
CPS marks EWA as most essential to bring culprits to book and Helen Ball, the Metropolitan Police Service’s Senior National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism Policing, told that on a scale of 1 to 10, she would currently rate the EAW “about an 8” in terms of its importance to CT policing: “it is an extremely valuable power to have and EAWs allow suspects to be surrendered far more speedily than traditional extradition processes”
It might create a Paradox wherein people who have wronged in a country might find safe haven in another so that they can’t be prosecuted their. In order to enforce order; it has become extremely important to take such steps which ensure fail-safe mechanism for the extradition of such persons.