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EU law on policing and criminal justice cooperation covers five areas:

  • Mutual recognition
  • Participation in EU agencies
  • Information sharing
  • Substantive criminal law
  • Criminal procedure

The UK currently has an arrangement whereby it can choose which laws it wishes to adopt, and opt out of others. 

In relation to the substantive criminal law and criminal procedure, the measures that the UK has chosen to adopt essentially affect domestic law. As such they would not necessarily need to be altered as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

By contrast, the mutual recognition of decisions, information sharing and participation in agencies involve cooperation between Member States. Therefore, alternative arrangements would have to be put in place of existing measures if the UK wished to maintain similar levels of cooperation.

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