EU Referendum Voting Guide: Stronger In on cross-border crime

20 May 2016
What was claimed

Fighting cross-border crime — the EAW allows us to deport criminals from the UK and catch those fleeing justice across Europe

Our verdict

The European Arrest Warrant does allow the government to remove criminals from the UK to other EU countries, but a similar arrangement might be negotiated if we voted to leave.

The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) allows a criminal or criminal suspect to be extradited from one EU member country to another. It can be used when someone is being prosecuted for an offence that carries a custodial sentence of at least one year, or has been sentenced to imprisonment or detention for at least four months.

In some cases the EAW does not apply if a suspect is in a country which doesn’t recognise the crime they are charged with.

In 2014 the UK’s National Crime Agency issued 228 EAWs for suspects in other EU countries, and 228 again in 2015. In return it received 13,500 EAWs in 2014 and 12,600 in 2015.

The EAW doesn’t apply to non-EU member countries. However, other non-EU member states, such as Norway have negotiated similar arrangements (although they’re not yet in force).

Update 20 May 2016

We changed the word "deport" to "remove" in our conclusion, to make clear that the process under a European Arrest Warrant is separate to that of deportation.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.