Friday 28 February 2020
Rachel Woods MLA commented on the UK government announcement that the UK will not participate in the European Arrest Warrant (EWA) after Brexit.
Rachel Woods MLA said: "The European Arrest Warrant has been a very sharp and useful tool for law enforcement across Europe, particularly for the PSNI and An Garda Siochána.
"Since coming into effect in 2004, the EWA has been used to extradite 1,000 fugitives to the UK, while British authorities have sent 10,000 criminal suspects to EU countries.
"The EWA is particularly important here in Northern Ireland because of the frequent cross-border engagements betweenAn Garda Síochánaand the PSNI. It's fair to say that fugitives across Europe have slept badly in their beds because of the EWA.
"There have been indications that the UK and Irish governments might establish a similar process for cross border extradition. However, there are serious questions marks over when that arrangement can be put into and whether it can operate as effectively as the EWA.
"Justice Minister Naomi Long appeared before the Justice Committee yesterday (Thursday 27 February) and discussed the future of the EWA. I will continue to engage with the Minister through the Committee on yet another bad Brexit outcome for Northern Ireland."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498