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Lords to examine UK-EU security during Brexit transition

The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee will tomorrow hold a roundtable discussion on the UK's Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) opt-in mechanism during the Brexit transition phase.

The draft Withdrawal Agreement provides that the UK will remain bound during the transition period to JHA measures that the UK has opted into by 30 March 2019, such as the Europol Regulation.

The Committee will ask the witnesses what the UK will lose when it can no longer opt into JHA measures, and whether its inability to opt into new measures will have an effect on operational capacity.

The evidence session will begin at 10:45 a.m. in Committee Room 4A, the witnesses include:

  • Professor Estella Baker, Professor of European Criminal Law and Justice, De Montfort University
  • John Binns, Partner, BCL Solicitors LLB
  • Professor Michael Levi, Professor of Criminology, Cardiff University
  • Richard Martin, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police and National Police Chiefs' Council lead for International Criminality Portfolio

The Committee will ask the witnesses questions including:

  • What avenues will be open to the UK to scrutinise or influence JHA measures during transition, once it loses its seats in the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament?
  • What is the likelihood that other Member States will take advantage of the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement to “urge” the UK to opt into JHA measures? How would this work in practice: would there need to be a vote in Council?
  • Will the opt-in provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement apply to measures with JHA content, but without a JHA legal basis?
  • Is there the possibility that the EU could, once the UK becomes a third country, insist that the UK take part in measures that it had previously opted out of on the grounds that they contained JHA content? What would be the operational consequences of such a course of action?

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