Part 3 – Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters
The safety and security of our citizens is the Government’s top priority. The Agreement provides a comprehensive package of operational capabilities that will help protect the public and bring criminals to justice.
Title I – General provisions
The scope of this Part, as set out in the General Provisions, is to provide for law enforcement and judicial cooperation between the UK, the EU and its Member States in relation to the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences and the prevention of and fight against money laundering and financing of terorism.
The Agreement is based on a shared and longstanding respect for democracy, the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights. Any cooperation that takes place under this Part must be done in compliance with human rights.
Title II – Exchanges of DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration data
The Agreement provides for the fast and effective exchange of national DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data between the UK and individual EU Member States to aid law enforcement agencies in investigating crime and terrorism.
DNA and fingerprint data will continue to be exchanged through the Prüm system and the Agreement enables the exchange of vehicle registration data in the future, in line with precedents between the EU and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. This will enable us to build on the current operational benefits derived from our Prüm connections on DNA, which have been live since July 2019 and expand our fingerprints connections which commenced in October 2020.
Title III – Transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data
The Agreement provides for transfers of PNR data from the EU to the UK to be used to protect the public from terrorism and serious crime.
The Agreement is based on precedents for PNR agreements between the EU and third countries such as Australia and the US. It provides for more frequent transfers of PNR data from airlines to the UK prior to flights taking off between the EU and the UK than current arrangements. The agreement also provides for specific data protection safeguards, for a period of implementation during which the UK will make necessary technical adjustments to its systems to effectively operate those safeguards, and for cooperation between the UK and EU authorities that use PNR data.
Title IV – Cooperation on operational information
The Agreement provides an additional basis for bilateral law enforcement cooperation to continue between the UK and EU Member States at the end of the transition period.
This includes information sharing in response to requests, as well as the spontaneous provision of information, including that which relates to wanted and missing persons and objects.
Title V – Cooperation with Europol
The Agreement supports effective multilateral cooperation between the UK and EU Member States through Europol on serious and organised crime and terrorism. In line with third country precedent, it does not provide for membership of Europol.
The Agreement is broadly in line with those that Europol has with third countries such as the US but takes account of the scale and nature of the UK’s contribution to the Agency. It enables the presence of UK liaison officers in Europol headquarters alongside their EU counterparts to facilitate cross- border cooperation, UK access to the SIENA secure messaging system and the fast and effective exchange of data, including personal data. This Agreement will be supplemented by more detailed administrative and working arrangements between the UK and the EU.
Title VI – Cooperation with Eurojust
The Agreement supports effective multilateral cooperation between the UK and EU Member States through Eurojust on the investigation and prosecution of serious cross-border criminal cases. In line with third country precedent, it does not provide for membership of Europol.
The Agreement is broadly in line with those that Eurojust has with third countries such as the US but takes account of the scale and nature of the UK’s contribution to the Agency. It enables the UK to second a Liaison Prosecutor and their Assistants to Eurojust headquarters alongside their EU counterparts, and for the UK to exchange personal data and information with Eurojust. The Agreement will be supplemented by a more detailed working arrangement between the UK and the EU>
Title VII – Surrender
The Agreement provides for streamlined extradition arrangements, akin to the EU’s Surrender Agreement with Norway and Iceland, but with appropriate further safeguards for individuals beyond those in the European Arrest Warrant.
To streamline cooperation, the Agreement provides for direct transmission between judicial authorities, limited grounds for refusal and time- limited processes. It also includes additional provisions which make clear that a person’s surrender can be refused if their fundamental rights are at risk, extradition would be disproportionate, or they are likely to face long periods of pre-trial detention. Where extradition of own nationals from certain EU Member States is not possible due to their constitutional principles, we have ensured there is nevertheless a path to justice in every case, for example, by obliging EU Member States to refer cases to their own prosecution authorities.
Title VIII – Mutual Assistance
The Agreement supports effective cooperation on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters supplementing the relevant Council of Europe Conventions by providing for streamlined processes, including standard formats for making requests and specific timescales for action.
The Agreement provides for direct transmission allowing UK prosecutors to send requests directly to competent authorities in EU Member States. This will ensure action can be taken quickly and effectively.
Title IX – Exchange of criminal record information
The Agreement provides for the fast and effective exchange of criminal records data between the UK and individual EU Member States, recognising that this is important for investigations, prosecutions and sentencing, as well as for wider community safety.
The arrangements include streamlined and time-limited processes for exchanging criminal records information and specify that information can be exchanged for crime prevention and safeguarding purposes. The Agreement provides that criminal records will continue to be exchanged between the UK and EU Member States through shared technical infrastructure.
Title X – Anti-Money Laundering and counter-terrorist financing
The Agreement commits the UK and EU to support international efforts to prevent and fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, exchange relevant information, and maintain comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes.
The Agreement commits the UK and EU to maintain high standards of beneficial ownership transparency. It goes beyond the international Financial Action Task Force Standards (FATF) in requiring registers of beneficial ownership of corporate entities and includes provisions on beneficial ownership of legal arrangements that are in line with the FATF Standards.
Title XI – Freezing and confiscation
The Agreement supports effective cooperation on asset freezing and confiscation, supplementing the relevant Council of Europe Conventions by providing for streamlined processes, including standard formats for making requests and specific timescales for action.
The Agreement provides for more limited grounds for refusal of a request allowing for the broadest cooperation possible.
Title XII – Other provisions
The Agreement sets out the specific circumstances in which either Party can suspend or terminate this area of cooperation, reflecting the different nature of this Part. For example, in addition to being able to terminate the law enforcement Part for any reason, either Party may suspend cooperation where it considers there are serious and systemic deficiencies in the way the other Party is protecting fundamental rights, the rule of law or data protection.
Title XIII – Dispute settlement
The dispute settlement mechanism for the Law Enforcement Part is political in nature and only involves the Parties, with no arbitration or role for the CJEU. In the event of a dispute the parties can avail themselves of a time limited, consultations procedure in order to reach a mutually agreed solution.