The Crown Prosecution Service goes on hiring spree to prepare for ‘No Deal’ Brexit

Contax Law briefing

After months of negotiation, Theresa May announced yesterday that the UK and the EU have agreed a draft text for the Brexit agreement.

The agreement includes a UK-wide customs “backstop” aimed at ensuring there are no physical border checks introduced in Northern Ireland. The pound surged against the dollar and euro this morning in light of the news.

Today an emergency cabinet meeting will be held to decide the next steps of the deal.  We are yet to see which ministers will resign over the draft agreement. The pound is expected to either soar or plunge depending on how this meeting unfolds.

But will the deal make it through Parliament? For one, the Conservatives do not have an outright majority and there are existing divisions in the Conservative party over Brexit. If the UK and EU are unable to reach an agreement, there will be no 21-month transition period as May is proposing.

The CPS have shown concerns over this potential outcome and are hiring extra lawyers to prepare themselves for the consequences.

Below is an article written by Monidipa Fouzder for the Law Gazette and can be found at: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/cps-braces-for-no-deal-brexit-by-hiring-extra-lawyers/5068289.article

The Crown Prosecution Service has gone on a short-term hiring spree in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal, its new chief revealed last night. 

In his first speech as director of public prosecutions since taking over from Alison Saunders, Max Hill QC said the increasingly international nature of crime is affecting the CPS’s work.

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, Hill said the UK will no longer have access to the European arrest warrant (EAW), the European investigation order, and mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders.

‘Our current status as full members of [judicial cooperation unit] Eurojust would also be lost, and our law enforcement colleagues would not enjoy the same level of immediate access to a range of investigative measures and intelligence sources,’ he said.

The CPS is preparing for both Brexit scenarios.

Hill said: ‘We are recruiting additional lawyers to our extradition unit on a short-term basis in preparation for handling EAWs that are still live on 29 March, and the process that would immediately replace the EAW in the event of “no deal”. 

‘We are also expanding our liaison magistrate presence in Europe to ensure that we can develop the relationships that will be necessary to support new arrangements. Our liaison magistrates build relationships in the countries in which they are based.

By identifying the key local personnel, and gaining an understanding of their procedures, they are well placed to clarify and support our own requests for mutual legal assistance and extradition, as well as those of the host country. And we are developing training for our staff, and counsel.’

Hill stressed again that he wants to build public confidence and trust in the CPS, but said the picture ‘is not as bleak as some would have us believe’, highlighting the latest crime survey of England and Wales results, in which 62% of respondents stated they were ‘very’ or fairly’ confident that the CPS is effective at prosecuting.

This article was written by Monidipa Fouzder for the Law Gazette and can be found at: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/cps-braces-for-no-deal-brexit-by-hiring-extra-lawyers/5068289.article

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