At least ten EU countries have informed the United Kingdom that they will no longer extradite their fellow countrymen. That has been possible since Brexit, but Belgium has no plans to change anything.
The UK government has admitted that Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden have said they are “invoking constitutional rules to stop extraditing fellow countrymen to the UK.” That reports The Independent Friday. Austria and the Czech Republic will only extradite fellow countrymen who themselves agree to this.
As a result, the British courts have no other option than to try to have wanted persons from those countries prosecuted by local courts. Foreign criminals can also be entered into Interpol’s database, so they could be arrested if they leave their home country.
Belgium continues to extradite
The fact that the EU countries now refuse to extradite to the United Kingdom has everything to do with Brexit. Previously, the country was able to make use of the European arrest warrant system, which ensures smooth extradition between member states.
Extradition mechanisms are also included in the trade and cooperation agreement that the European Union and the United Kingdom have agreed on around Brexit. However, these are subordinate to the constitutions of the member states.
“Member States that do not wish to extradite nationals had to submit a specific declaration to do so,” the Ministry of Justice explains in a response to our editorial team. “Belgium has not submitted such a statement and does not intend to do so.”