The U.K. has formed a new comprehensive security agreement with the European Union following the finalization of the Brexit transition process on January 1, 2021.
The new measures agreed include streamlined extradition arrangements and an arrangement enabling the fast and effective exchange of national DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data via the Prüm system to aid law enforcement agencies in investigating crime and terrorism. The U.K. and EU have also agreed to arrangements enabling the fast and effective exchange of criminal records data via shared technical infrastructure, as well as arrangements providing for continued transfers of Passenger Name Record data to protect the public from serious crime and terrorism. In addition, the U.K. has confirmed that it will continue its operational co-operation with Europol and Eurojust.
It is the first time the EU has agreed such a comprehensive agreement with a third country in this area. It ensures the U.K. can work with counterparts across Europe to tackle serious crime and terrorism, protecting the public and bringing criminals to justice.
Tougher border rules for EU criminals also came into force on January 1. Under these changes, foreign criminals sentenced to more than a year in jail will be banned from entering the U.K.
The U.K. will also make it harder for criminals to operate and smuggle illicit commodities such as guns and drugs into the country. From July 2021, the U.K. will start receiving advance data on all goods coming from the EU into Britain, something which has not previously been possible under EU rules.
The U.K. is also phasing out the use of insecure identity documents used to enter the U.K. From October 1, 2021, the U.K. will refuse to recognise EEA and Swiss national identity cards which it says are some of the most insecure and abused documents seen at the border and often used by organized crime groups.
The government is also providing the police with more powers to protect the public. Police will now have the power to detain fugitives wanted by close partner countries immediately without having to apply for a U.K. arrest warrant first.