Criminal Records: EU Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 14th December 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether equivalent agreements will be in place by 1 January 2021 to replace the current agreements for the exchange of information between UK police forces and other EU countries on criminals and terrorists.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department

The safety and security of our citizens is the Government’s top priority.

We’ve been negotiating an agreement with the EU to equip operational partners on both sides with capabilities to protect citizens and bring criminals to justice.

As set out in the UK’s published Approach to Negotiations, we have maintained an agreement in this area should include arrangements that support data exchange for law enforcement purposes. There is a good degree of convergence in what the UK and EU have been negotiating in terms of operational capabilities.

We are also seeking adequacy decisions, on both general and law enforcement processing, from the European Commission, which will allow more broadly the current smooth exchange of data to continue.

In the event that it is not possible to reach an agreement, the UK has well-developed and well-rehearsed plans in place. In particular, we will transition from our current arrangements with EU Member States to alternative, non-EU arrangements by the end of the Transition Period, where available and relevant. Broadly speaking, this means making more use of Interpol, Council of Europe Conventions and bilateral channels.

For other law enforcement data sharing, in the absence of adequacy decisions Member State law enforcement agencies will be able to rely on alternative mechanisms in order to transfer data to the UK.

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