The decision was revealed in correspondence to the House of Lords in the UK, which stated that Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden will be “invoking constitutional rules as reason not to extradite their own nationals to the UK”.
The text added that Austria and the Czech Republic will only extradite their own nationals to Britain with their consent.
This decision from France appears to apply only to French nationals, not foreign nationals living or staying in France, but since the UK withdrew from the European Arrest Warrant scheme the mechanism in place for sending those suspected of a crime to the UK is not certain.
Richard Martin, of the UK’s association of chief police officers had previously told the Home Affairs Committee that where countries refuse to extradite suspects, police have two choices: “One is we work with the Crown Prosecution Service and decide whether it is in the public interest to try and prosecute these individuals in their home countries.
“The second is we circulate them anyway on Interpol because as soon as they enter another country they’re fair game, so we can arrest them in that country and bring them back.”
Introduced in 2004, the European Arrest Warrant requires any EU member state to send a criminal suspect to the country that issued the warrant for trial, or to enforce the completion of a jail sentence. The warrant can only be used in cases where the minimum penalty is more than one year in jail.
The UK had already withdrawn from a Europe-wide data-sharing scheme for traffic offences, which means that Brits caught by speed cameras in France will no longer have fines sent to their home address – and the same applies to EU-registered cars in the UK.
The French Interior Ministry says it intends to negotiate a new bilateral agreement with the UK on the subject of drivers, with a spokesman telling The Local previously: “The purpose of the directive is to put an end to the impunity of motorists who commit offences in a Member State other than that of their residence, to improve road safety throughout the EU and to guarantee the equal treatment between drivers whether or not they are residents of the Member State where the offence was committed.
“Through this exchange system, Member States can identify the owners of vehicles with which the infringement has been committed in their territory and send them notifications of infringements.”