Policing and security agencies will get ‘even tougher powers’ to keep the UK safe now it has left the EU’s orbit, the Home Secretary has said.
Priti Patel pledged reforms including bans on foreign criminals who have spent more than a year in jail and a new data regime to catch smuggled goods.
The transition period which came into force after the UK left the EU in January 2020 meant many arrangements including security cooperation were left intact until New Year’s Eve.
The EU has said the new post-Brexit agreement will not give the two sides the same ‘facilities’ on policing and security as before, although Ms Patel insisted ‘it gives our police and security services the tools and partnerships to help keep the public safe’.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, she added: ‘And having left the EU means we can give these agencies stronger powers to keep this country safe.
‘That includes banning foreign criminals who have served more than a year in jail from entering the UK.
‘We will refuse to accept insecure national identity cards and we will be able to crack down on illegal imports of goods through the introduction of pre-arrival data on goods being imported from the EU.
‘We will also crack down on illegal immigration and reform the broken asylum system.’
An EU briefing note said the UK will lose ‘direct, real-time access’ to sensitive criminal databases.
Member states are expected to lose similar privileges from British databases.
However the note said the deal does provide ‘effective co-operation’ between the UK and the EU’s policing and criminal justice agencies, Europol and Eurojust, in line with the rules for third countries under EU law.
Ms Patel also highlighted Parliament’s newfound freedom to enact border control reforms.
She said: ‘Forging a new relationship with the EU also means taking back control of our borders; allowing Britain to finally control who comes into this country.
‘Free movement has ended and people who want to live in the UK will now have to meet the requirements of our new points-based system.
Attorney General Suella Braverman, also writing in the newspaper, said changes to how EU legal judgements are handled in the British justice system will have a dramatic impact on the domestic legal system.
She said: ‘The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union will no longer take precedence in the UK’s higher courts.
‘This reflects a seismic shift – which will become apparent over time – in our law-making.
‘The thousands of judgments handed down by the Luxembourg court every year – interpreting EU laws, determining questions on regulations in areas as varied as competition, health and safety, manufacturing and the environment – will no longer bind our judges at home.’
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