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Leaving the EU: Departmental Responsibilities

Volume 616: debated on Tuesday 1 November 2016

14. What assessment she has made of the implications for her departmental responsibilities of the UK leaving the EU. (906952)

The Ministry of Justice is leading work on future arrangements with the EU for civil, family and commercial law. We are also working closely with the Home Office on EU criminal justice measures. I am determined to make sure that UK legal services, which contribute £26 billion a year to our economy, continue to thrive once we leave the EU.

Official figures show that between 2010 and 2015 the UK made 1,424 requests to EU members under the European arrest warrant, as a result of which 916 successful arrests were made. Will access to the system continue when the UK leaves the EU?

As I have said, the Home Office is leading on criminal justice matters. We are working very closely with the Home Office, and we want to preserve those beneficial policies where we can deal with criminal and civil justice matters, so that we can make sure that we have the best possible legal services in the world.

English law—particularly English commercial law—is respected around the world for its quality. Will the Secretary of State confirm that her Department will use Brexit as an opportunity to spread its use around the world, working with our international law firms?

I completely agree with my hon. Friend, who has a background in commercial law in one of the top City firms. I had a roundtable with the magic circle and the silver circle to talk about how we can promote those legal areas, as well as all the practices right through the UK, including those practising in Scots law. We have a big opportunity to promote this more widely, and we are using the GREAT campaign as a vehicle to do that.