Britain to withdraw from European Arrest Warrant

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Britain will not participate in a European scheme to fast-track the extradition of criminals following its departure from the European Union, the government said in its mandate for negotiations on a long term relationship with the bloc.

The European Arrest Warrant was introduced in 2004 and replaced lengthy extradition processes between EU countries. It means a warrant issued by one EU country's judicial authority to arrest a person and surrender them for prosecution is valid throughout the EU.

"The UK is not seeking to participate in the European Arrest Warrant as part of the future relationship. The agreement should instead provide for fast-track extradition arrangements," the mandate published by the government on Thursday said.

The EU has previously warned that Brexit would mean it was unable to participate in the scheme, and Britain has itself already talked about alternative arrangements for extradition.

Britain has used the European Arrest Warrant system thousands of times since its creation, including to bring back a man who tried to carry out an attack in London in 2005 and then fled to Italy. (Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)