Belfast Telegraph

Counter-terrorism powers in wake of Brexit outlined by Government

By Michael McHugh

A series of cross-border counter-terrorism powers returning from the EU following Brexit, which affect Northern Ireland, have been outlined by the Government.

They include the sharing of DNA databases to find terrorist profiles, alerts seeking suspected insurgents and the seizing of criminal assets.

Northern Ireland's border with the Republic is a major issue in the Brexit negotiations.

The Cabinet Office has published 82 areas where common frameworks may be required, essentially understandings between police forces or other bodies rather than specific laws.

They include preventing cyber-crime and human trafficking; combating child pornography; surveillance; standardised requests for information and evidence; and cross-border threats to public health.

Dissident republicans have exploited the border in the past, and work on tackling organised crime has been carried out by the PSNI and the Garda.

Yesterday the UK Government published its provisional analysis of returning EU powers affecting devolved administrations.

Justice and policing powers are devolved from Westminster to Stormont, which collapsed last January.

The Cabinet Office said none of the existing powers of the devolved governments will be affected.

The civil service has been representing Northern Ireland during meetings on what Brexit means for devolved regions.

David Lidington, the Prime Minister's de facto deputy, said: "The vast majority of these new powers will be in the control of the devolved administrations on the day we leave the EU.

"There is a much smaller group of powers where the devolved governments will be required to follow current EU laws for a little bit longer while we work out a new UK approach.

"We are discussing with the devolved governments how this process will work but, as the UK Government, we feel very strongly that we must have the ability to take action to protect the UK internal market, which represents a huge investment to everyone in the UK."

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