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UK Bans EU Criminals from Entering Country Post-Brexit

European nationals who served over one year prison time banned under new plan

 on 23rd October 2020 @ 12.00pm
eu criminals will be banned from entering the uk if they ve served over one year in prison © press
EU criminals will be banned from entering the UK if they've served over one year in prison

The United Kingdom has banned criminals from the European Union from entering the country if they have served one year or more in prison.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced previously-jailed EU citizens will be automatically banned from the UK when the Brexit withdrawal period concludes at the end of the year.

From January 1, all EU nationals attempting to enter Britain, including tourists, can be subject to vigorous checks on their criminal record.

In addition, anyone convicted of committing a crime within the past year, even without serving jail time, will be refused entry at the border.

Authorities will also be granted new powers, allowing them to deny entry to anyone whose presence they fear would be “not conducive to the public good.”

“For too long, EU rules have forced us to allow dangerous foreign criminals, who abuse our values and threaten our way of life, on to our streets,” Ms. Patel said in a statement.

british home secretary priti patel announced previously jailed eu citizens will be automatically banned from the uk © press
British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced previously-jailed EU citizens will be automatically banned from the UK

However, these rules are likely to be reciprocated by EU countries, meaning Britons with criminal records could be barred entry, according to The Express.

Government officials, speaking to The Times, added European citizens who engage in anti-social behavior, like aggressive begging, could be instructed to leave the UK.

Rough sleepers from EU countries could also be required to depart the country under these rules.

Exceptions to the new rules will be made when they would put Britain in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, or when the crime they were convicted for is not registered in the UK.

Under the current system, EU nationals can only be blocked from entering Britain if they are deemed to represent a “genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat” to the country.

The criteria for this cannot be based purely on their criminal records.

Whilst Britain left the EU in January it remains locked in a Brexit transition period, during which much of Brussels regulations must still be followed, until the end of the year.

The Government is in talks with the EU to establish a new trading relationship after this point. 

If no deal can be agreed the UK and EU will trade on World Trade Organisation terms, meaning tariffs will be placed on many goods traded. 

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, is expected to visit London today for the latest round of talks.

The two sides are currently deadlocked over European access to Britain’s fishing waters and how much state aid the UK is allowed to provide industries.

As part of the deal, the Government is hoping to negotiate continued access to the EU’s criminal records database.

eu nationals who have committed a crime in the past year will also be denied entry at the border © press
EU nationals who have committed a crime in the past year will also be denied entry at the border

This would allow travelers to be cross-referenced against the database to find out if they have previously been convicted of crimes.

On October 16, prior to the latest round of negotiations being agreed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a speech in which he accused the EU of still wanting control over British laws.

He said: “We left the EU on January 31 and delivered on the largest democratic mandate in the history of this country.

“And since then we have been in a transition period obeying EU law, paying our fees – as a non-voting member – working on the future relationship we hope to enjoy with our friends and partners from January.

“And from the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship, based on friendship and free trade."

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tags: Europe  | Crime
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