On Monday 20 July 2020 the UK suspended it's extradition treaty with its former colony Hong Kong, citing the imposition of controversial new security laws on the territory by China. The new law is seen to have changed the very foundation of the agreement between the two states and the treaty has been suspended "immediately and indefinitely". No consideration will be given to reactivating the treaty unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards preventing the misuse of extradition from the UK.
On 22 June 2020 the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill (the Bill) had its second reading in the House of Commons. The contents of the Bill relate to a gap within the current extradition process and are designed to allow police officers, customs officers or service police officers to arrest suspects without a warrant where they are wanted for serious offences in certain trusted countries (currently designated as Australia, Canada, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States of America).
Over four years of negotiations later and the UK-US Bilateral Data Access Agreement (the Agreement) is expected to come into effect next month. The Agreement will enable law enforcement authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to obtain electronic data directly from communication service providers (CSPs) in the other country for the purposes of criminal investigations and prosecutions for serious crime.
Britain and the EU are unlikely to agree on an alternative to the European arrest warrant. Extradition arrangements between Britain and EU have been low on the list of post-Brexit negotiating priorities.
Yet recent developments in the Madeleine McCann case highlight what the UK stands to lose if no deal is struck on future criminal law enforcement co-operation — and how Brexit has already affected arrangements around the European arrest warrant.
On 14 May 2020 Metropolitan Police officers carried out two search and seizure warrants on behalf of Brazilian prosecutors investigating $5 million in alleged bribes paid to politicians in the state of Amapá in connection with a railroad contract.