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Brexit: Commission's draft withdrawal agreement sets out how justice and home affairs measures will apply during "transitional period"
1.3.18
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The European Commission has published a draft agreement governing the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, which will be "discussed over the coming weeks with the Council (Article 50) and the Brexit Steering Group of the European Parliament before transmission to the UK authorities for negotiation."

Title V (Articles 58-61) of the draft agreement concerns 'Ongoing police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters', and sets out how measures such as the European Arrest Warrant and freezing and confiscation orders will apply during and after the "transitional period". Similar provisions are included on information exchange and cross-border surveillance measures by law enforcement authorities.

See: European Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (pdf)

The document will serve as the basis for negotations on how the UK's "withdrawal" will be conducted, while a seperate agreement will cover cooperation post-Brexit.

The speech given by UK prime minister Theresa May at the recent Munich Security Conference sets out what the UK government hopes to achieve from that agreement - which she noted will require "real political will on both sides," as "there is no existing security agreement between the EU and a third country that captures the full depth and breadth of our existing arrangement."

May foresees the need for a Treaty that, amongst other things, includes "a principled but pragmatic solution to close legal co-operation... to respect our unique status as a third country with our own sovereign legal order."

See: PM speech at Munich Security Conference: 17 February 2018 (pdf)

It is precisely because of such concerns that the UK obtained an opt-out over EU justice and home affairs issues in the first place, and conducted a massive "opt-in" to justice and home affairs law in 2014 after the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice over the policy area came into force - the ability to pick and choose its participation is already established. Whether the EU will be happy to let the UK maintain something similar when it is no longer a member of the bloc remains to be seen.

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