British stalkers and abusers rejoice: Life will get easier in Europe after Brexit

Government Campaign Poster on Domestic Abuse

Imagine you are being pursued by a stalker or an abusive ex. You get a court order or an injunction to stop them pursuing you. You decide to take a break to get out of the country and away from it all . Your abuser follows you abroad and starts to pester you. You call the local police.

If that happened now a European directive would allow you immediately to invoke the order in 27 countries and the person would be arrested and would likely end up in jail.

But from January 1 the order you obtained from a British court will no longer be recognised and you will have to start from scratch if you want your abuser to be stopped. And the change is coming just as good legislation under the Domestic Abuse Bill will give courts new powers to stop abusers – mainly but not exclusively men – harassing you on pain of being jailed.

Details of this state of affairs has come to light in an obscure report to the Commons European Scrutiny Committee. The issue was thought to be so minor that neither the EU nor the UK thought it worth even discussing in their negotiations – which shows you how low down the agenda domestic abuse is for top officials.

Victims Right Directive

The directive – known as the Victims Rights Directive -allowed any UK court order including restraining and stalking orders to be automatically applicable in the 27 EU countries, including when a person was on holiday there, without having to resort to separate civil action.

It has actually taken a committed Brexiteer – Bill Cash as chair of the committee – to raise the issue at all.

He writes in a report:

“From 1 January 2021, it will no longer be possible for orders made by UK courts to safeguard an individual against a criminal act that may endanger their life, physical, psychological or sexual integrity, dignity or personal liberty to be recognised and enforced in a foreign jurisdiction if that individual moves (even temporarily) to an EU Member State.”

Domestic Abuse Bill

 Her added: “There will no longer be a relatively simple mechanism for ensuring, for example, that the domestic abuse protection orders envisaged in the Domestic Abuse Bill will be recognised and enforced within the EU.”

The junior minister in the Justice department, Alex Chalk, also confirmed this.

“There is “no comparable fallback option” after transition as the European Protection Order is “a unique European Union law-based mechanism”. As a consequence, “an individual seeking a protective order after transition will need to secure a domestic (civil) protection order from the EU Member State that they are visiting.”

Frankly it seems extraordinary that this issue has been overlooked. As it is this measure is very simple – allowing British law to be extended to 27 countries to protect British citizens. Yet we are throwing this away on January 1 for the sake of ideology. I have written about this measure for Byline Times earlier this month.

There is a glimmer of hope that the matter could be taken up by the Women and Equalities Committee in Parliament or the Joint Committee on Human Rights. But sadly there is very little time to do anything about it. Ministers have promised to include the provision in domestic law – so people will have to have a staycation to stay safe.

5 thoughts on “British stalkers and abusers rejoice: Life will get easier in Europe after Brexit

  1. good this one was caught before too late – but in the event of a ‘No Deal’ will it still be applicable? and there are probably many more protections or opportunities for individuals and businesses that are missed or misunderstood in a post-Brexit world if we don’t get the deal/withdrawal agreement.

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    • A No Deal is what it says on the packet, NO DEAL. Why do people think that this or that might be an exception. Remembers Farage telling the British people we get a deal on our terms. The only people who will gain out of Covid and a No Deal are the Vulture Capitalists, I meant to say the Venture Capitalists and recently one of these companies produced a statement , which one could interpret as Covid is good for Venture capitalism, so what’s that got to do with this, the former major shareholder is a government minister. So if you think that the government will concern themselves with this matter, sorry most of them be making deals buying into the NHS, and picking up rich pickings from the collapse of the High St and industry. Then ask is anyone apart from a couple of ministers in this government compent to try and get some arrangement,. Most will sing from the same Hymn sheet, the EU is the problem not us.

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  2. Pingback: British stalkers and abusers rejoice: Life will get easier in Europe after Brexit | sdbast

  3. Good spot – needs to be more widely publicised
    Presumably those from the EC will no longer have protection here either – probably putting a greater number at risk

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