EU nationals who have committed crimes in other countries will be denied entry to the UK and deported in sensational new measures.
Those who have been sentenced to 12 months or more outside of the UK will be stopped from coming in.
Current EU rules mean Britain can only prevent EU criminals entering if they present a ‘serious and current threat’.
However, Home Secretary Priti Patel aims to clamp down and has drafted new laws to prevent criminals entering Britain.
‘For too long, EU rules have forced us to allow dangerous foreign criminals, who abuse our values and threaten our way of life, onto our streets,’ said the home secretary.
‘The UK will be safer thanks to firmer and fairer border controls where foreign criminals regardless of nationality will be subject to the same criminality rules.’
New laws will also mean those EU nationals who break the law in Britain post-1st of January will also be liable for deportation.
The home secretary will also be given permission to refuse entry to foreign criminals sentenced to less than a year in jail, on a case-by-case basis. All offences will be taken into account, whether committed in the UK or abroad.
Criminals with no prison sentence could be banned if they are persistent offenders or if they risk causing ‘serious harm’, for example, if they are sex offenders.
Current regulations also mean old offences cannot be taken into account. For example, an EU national jailed for rape a decade ago cannot currently be refused entry if they have not re-offended since.
Under the new rules, that rapist could be banned from the UK. Anyone involved in sham marriages will also be refused entry.
Officials have however acknowledged there will be ‘some limited exceptions’ to the new powers.
However, currently, no shared database has been set up to enable criminal records from abroad to be viewed, but the British government plans to change this.
And deportation won’t be viable to those who have already been granted settled status in the UK during the two year grace period which ends on December 31st 2020.
The European Court of Human Rights may also postpone any cases in the future.
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