The Brexit vote, 5 years on - what do we know so far?

This note summarises the evidence so far of the impacts on Brexit on Scotland. It sets out early evidence related to areas such as trade, the workforce and EU programmes.

Law enforcement

The impacts of Brexit go beyond our trading relationship. It was clear in 2016 that leaving the EU would have serious consequences for our policing, safety and security.

The UK has lost access to the Schengen Information System (SIS). The UK Government failed to negotiate a replacement for SIS, meaning our police forces do not have access to Europe-wide real time alerts and notices.

Scotland has also lost access to the European Arrest Warrant, which allowed those accused of the most serious crimes to be brought back to Scotland to face justice in a matter of hours. The UK Government's replacement has serious limitations: 10 EU member states have declared that they will never surrender their nationals to the UK due to their constitutional rules, and most others have imposed some form of additional conditionality on the extradition to the UK of their own nationals.

Both these very negative impacts make it hard to combat criminals who are increasingly sophisticated, mobile and international.

Because of Brexit Scottish prosecutors have also lost access to the European Judicial Network, which they used much more extensively than their counterparts in the rest of the UK. Losing access to this ready-made network of contact points has made the transition to non-EU based tools and measures more difficult, with cooperation between prosecutors slower and more cumbersome. This delays the process of bringing people to justice and means that victims of crime are having to wait longer for justice.


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