Belfast Telegraph

National criminal checks to be in place

By Hayden Smith

Britain will be able to carry out criminal records checks on EU nationals seeking to stay in the country after Brexit under the agreement.

The issue was previously seen as a sticking point in negotiations after the UK's position met resistance from Brussels.

But in what the Government sees as a victory, the joint document released on Friday makes clear that "systematic criminality and security checks can - in the specific context of acquiring status under the Withdrawal Agreement - be carried out on all applicants for status under the agreement and applicants can be asked to declare criminality".

EU citizens seeking to continue living in the UK after the country's departure from the union will be required to apply to authorities to have their status rubber-stamped.

Further details of how the checks will work are due to be outlined by the Home Office next year.

A Government technical paper published last month said: "As regards checks, the intention is to ask applicants to self-declare criminal convictions (either UK or overseas), as we do for all other applications made to the UK immigration authorities ... In specified cases, where we have good cause, we may seek to verify international declared convictions."

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