As part of the transition Brexit deal, Britain reached terms with Brussels on crime and security at the end of last month.
Before Brexit, Europeans were allowed to use ID cards instead of passports to cross the border. However, in an effort to boost security and eliminate fraud which ID cards are subjected to, a transition agreement was made to switch over to more secure biometric documents.
Millions of EU nationals who were entitled to live in Britain under the EU Settlement Scheme will be allowed five years to switch over from ID cards to biometric documents.
Part of the transition agreement on crime and security relies on EU member states to sent notifications on “wanted” criminals through Interpol, the international policing organisation. However, Home Office sources have revealed that a tenth of foreign criminals could sneak into the UK due to the fall in “wanted” notices from EU nations.
At the end of last year, senior police officers raised concern over their limited capacity to track on foreign criminals when they lost SISII and had to rely on Interpol.
Steve Rodhouse, director-general of the National Crime Agency, told the home affairs committee at the time: “I cannot be sure of the extent to which all and every EU member state will make use of the Interpol route. It may be there is almost complete compliance, in which case the data gap will be minimal.”
He added: “But I think it would be right for me to raise prospect that there will be some EU member states, in some circumstances, who don’t use Interpol alerts. And of course, if the UK doesn’t have access that provides a gap for us.”