Volume: 3 Issue: 4
The UK Commons Select Committee on Exiting the European Union, in its third special report published on 3 April 2017 (‘Committee Report’), has commented upon the impact of the Brexit process on security, including on matters with a bearing on the fight against cyber crime.
In ‘Objective 11: Cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism,’ the Committee assesses a number of issues, including information-sharing agreements with the EU 27, for example access to the Schengen Information System. The Committee Report notes that the UK Government’s position on information-sharing post-Brexit is yet to be confirmed and will be discussed during the Brexit negotiations. The Committee Report notes that there is a strong argument for the UK to retain the access to data it enjoys through its current arrangements as an EU Member State; however post-Brexit such access will likely depend, the Committee suggests, on factors such as the EU’s assessment of how the UK’s data protection provisions align with its own, and ultimately “The access agreed is likely not to be of the same level currently granted.”
Another section in the Committee Report assesses the UK’s role in Europol - which supports law enforcement across the EU and which, for instance, opened its European Cybercrime Centre in 2013 - going forward. The Committee Report notes the UK’s important contribution to Europol and in particular its substantial role in many current Europol projects. The Committee states that ‘the Government will be looking to conclude a bespoke arrangement for continuing involvement with Europol’ but that ‘it is unlikely that the UK will be able to retain the leading role that it currently enjoys.’