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    Interpol 'Not the Ideal Solution' for EU-UK Post-Brexit Info Exchange – Lawyer

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    Germany will reject any UK request for the extradition of its citizens once Britain withdraws from the bloc. The Financial Times reported, citing an official notice sent by Berlin to Brussels, that extradition will be ceased even if a deal is agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

    The publication said that the German constitution restricts the extradition of the country's citizens, and it can be done only when other EU member states apply for extradition through the European arrest warrant or international court.

    Since 2010, London has filed nearly 1,800 requests for extradition through the European Arrest Warrant, including 15 requests for the extradition of German citizens in connection with money laundering, drug trafficking and other crimes.

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    In addition, the German Interior Ministry said in January that UK citizens living in Germany would be given three months to receive long-term residence permits to stay in the country.

    Radio Sputnik discussed Germany's decision to reject UK requests for extradition after Brexit with Anand Doobay, a partner at the UK-based Boutique Law LLP.

    Sputnik: Now what consequences will a no-deal Brexit have for joint European security?

    Anand Doobay: Well, I think in terms of extradition there won't be consequences. I mean one of them you just outline where a number of EU member states won't extradite their nationals, except within the European Arrest Warrant arrangement which applies within Europe.

    Sputnik: How surprising is Germany's decision to cancel extradition with the UK after Brexit? And how likely are other countries to take similar measures now?

    Anand Doobay: Well, I don't think Germany will be cancelling extradition, it's just that they won't be extraditing their own nationals. And that is not really much of a surprise because there are lots of countries which have restrictions on extraditing their own nationals, for example, Russia at the constitutional bar.

    And if you look at the Council of Europe, there are 42 out of the 45 member states who do prohibit the extradition of their nationals in some circumstances. And Germany is one that [has] absolute constitutional restriction.

    So it is not really a surprise [that] they are going to revert back to this position. What is still slightly unknown is what the general arrangements will be with Germany; both the UK and Germany are parties to the European Convention on Extradition. So it looks like that will be the fallback relationship between the UK and Germany.

    Sputnik: What is your view then with regard to the UK government? Are they doing enough to inform its European partners about the changes that a no-deal Brexit will bring? Yesterday, when we were discussing, debating Brexit a couple of years ago, there were many, many facets of this particular political event. Security wasn't one of those that we really went to depth with when we were discussing it. And there are so many facets of this particular event that we are all rather confused and we didn't really know that it would be so prominent. What is your feeling about this? Did the country and the government give us enough to inform its European partners about the changes potentially then?

    Anand Doobay: I think the difficulty is that once security arrangements are important, there has been a lot of focus so far on the political aspects of the deal. And we are obviously very close now to the date when the UK would leave if there isn't a transitional arrangement agreement.

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    And it is still not clear as to what is going to happen. So, I think the real difficulty for everybody is the uncertainty and the possibility that after the 29th of March, the UK will leave without the transitional arrangement and, therefore, it looks like the UK will revert back to its pre-existing extradition arrangements with the Council of Europe convention but that's not clear and I don't think the UK or the other EU member states have really made any practical arrangements to try and be ready for that.

    Sputnik: We were reading a news article earlier about the home secretary, Mr Javid, mentioning that there isn't really anything in place with regard to the exchange of security data between the UK and other European Union countries. And they are going to have to rely on Interpol in terms of exchange of information if the country does exit on the 29th of March without any of the procedures in place, then we just haven't got enough time for procedural systems to be put in place at this stage. I mean the exchange of security data within Europol and the fact that such a massive amount of information. What is the situation with regard to a no-deal Brexit? Will this, obviously from your point of view, complicate these procedures and cause lots of concerns and disturbance then to security forces within the UK and overseas as well?

    Anand Doobay: I think that there certainly is the chance concerns are rising by not having a system in place because there is not a pre-existing system which the UK can fall back on in the same way there is for extradition. So, I think that is why the home secretary is referring to Interpol as being a mechanism which can be used to exchange information between the UK and the EU. But it is certainly not the ideal solution because it is not very quick or efficient and that is not what Interpol is designed for.

    So the real difficulty here is that we have not sort of negotiated a replacement system to exchange security information with the EU. And it is going to be essential at some point that the UK and the EU do that from both perspectives — the EU and the UK.

    Sputnik: Just a final question and I know obviously there is a lot of rhetoric with regard to Brexit, we are less than forty days, maybe even less than that now with regard to this date, the 29th of March, when the UK is supposed to be leaving the European Union. From a legal point of view and discussions with legal companies, do you think that the UK is really going to leave the European Union on the 29th of March or does it look as though at this stage there is going to be an extension because for the life of me I can't see the UK leaving the European Union on the 29th of March. What is the legal point of view in the UK at the moment?

    Anand Doobay: Well, I think I mean we all know that there are three options. One is that the UK accepts the current deal which was negotiated with the EU and therefore, we would have a transitional agreement, which would extend the position until the end of 2020, and then we could negotiate withdrawal agreement, that is possible still. There is also the possibility the UK leaves without a deal, in which case all arrangements, current arrangements, would cease and we have to work out what happens next.

    Or, as you say, there is an extension of the period before the UK leaves, and to be honest, I have as little idea as anyone else as to which out of the three options is going to happen. But those, I mean I think we are all hoping, certainly I am hoping, for an orderly withdrawal, although there is no way to be sure to what is going to happen at the political level.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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