Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf has responded to an announcement by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) of plans to establish a safety net if access to EU security tools is lost.
In a statement issued today (Tuesday September 18th, 2018) the NPCC said a new national unit will assist police forces to use alternatives if the UK loses access to current EU data sharing and cooperation tools, such as the European Arrest Warrant or Europol systems. The NPCC said that the contingency plans, agreed Monday September 17 by all chief constables, will see UK law enforcement revert to use of international police tools through Interpol, bilateral channels and Council of Europe conventions to enable extradition of suspects, trace missing people and share intelligence about crime and terrorism.
Responding, Mr Yousaf said:
“This is a stark reminder of the hugely damaging impact Brexit could have on our security capabilities and why the UK Government must seek to protect access to the current EU data sharing and cooperation tools, like the European Arrest Warrant and Europol, as part of any deal. It is evidence of the huge of amount of resource and effort needed by the police, and agencies across Scotland, to prepare for Brexit – made worse by the continued lack of clarity from the UK Government over even basic questions about our future security relationship. This Government has been clear that leaving the EU without a deal is neither desirable or acceptable. Not leaving would be best and the only alternative thereafter is continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union which is essential for our economy, our society and the people of Scotland.”
In June, the Scottish Government published the Scotland’s Place in Europe: Security, Judicial Co-operation and Law Enforcement paper, detailing the impact of withdrawing from the EU’s cross-border security, law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation measures without putting effective substitute arrangements in place.
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