Reveal ‘no-deal’ planning for policing and criminal justice, says Justice Committee


The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee is calling on the Scottish and UK Governments to release more information about how criminal justice and policing matters will be handled after Brexit, particularly in a no-deal scenario.

It has also warned both Governments that future frameworks on cooperation will be subject to close scrutiny from the Committee.

The findings have been released today in a new report from the Committee, which it published after considering what alternative arrangements might look like for family, business and criminal law after Scotland and the UK leave the EU.

The Committee heard a general consensus from legal experts, the police and the Lord Advocate that leaving the EU without replacing current arrangements would be likely to have adverse effects. This was particularly an issue if the European Arrest Warrant is lost, though a range of different contingencies in all areas exist.

The Justice Committee has also considered and passed 15 pieces of subordinate legislation to get Scotland’s laws prepared for a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

Committee Convener, Margaret Mitchell MSP, said:

“The Justice Committee has considered and passed a lot of secondary legislation as efforts are made to prepare Scotland and the rest of the UK for leaving the EU.

“However, given the uncertainty about potentially adverse consequences of a no-deal scenario, and to allow policing and legal sectors to prepare fully, we need more information to be put into the public domain and shared with elected representatives.”

The Committee is also cautioning against civil and criminal justice matters being overlooked as the wider Brexit debate focuses on issues such as economic links, immigration and the Northern Irish/Irish border. This is particularly worrisome as Scotland’s distinct legal jurisdiction needs to be taken into account when future arrangements are considered.



More information on the Justice Committee's work on Brexit is available here.

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