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Brexit

Fears grow for cross-border crime fighting under no-deal Brexit - UK

By Trevor Marshallsea, PA

British police will be “increasingly unable to cope” under a no-deal Brexit, with long delays in investigations due to the loss of data-sharing agreements with the EU, the Government has been warned.

Lord Anderson, a former independent reviewer of terror legislation, has said he is growing increasingly concerned about the impact a no-deal departure would have on Britain’s ability to fight cross-border crime.

His warnings came as UK-EU talks remained stalled for a fifth straight day on Tuesday.

“Without the ability to exchange data and intelligence across frontiers, law enforcement will be increasingly unable to cope,” the crossbench peer told The Guardian.

“Everything from extradition to notification of alerts, crime scene matches and criminal record searches will be much slower, at best.”

Ongoing difficulties in Brexit negotiations have increased the likelihood no agreement will be reached on security and law enforcement cooperation as those issues are embedded in the overall deal.

Lord Anderson said without a special arrangement for police cooperation, Britain would lose real-time access to EU databases of criminal records, arrest warrants and passenger information, which would dramatically slow investigations.

UK officers can currently obtain DNA information and fingerprints from EU counterparts in around 15 minutes under what is known as the Prum system. The Guardian quoted police as saying the process took four months before Prum’s introduction.

Former national security adviser Lord Ricketts told the paper UK police would be “trying to solve crime in a fast-moving world with one hand tied behind their backs” if data sharing arrangements were lost.

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