1394. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice the way that cross-Border policing and cooperation between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána has been operating since the end of the Brexit transition period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18603/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): On 24 December 2020, the EU and UK negotiating teams reached agreement in principle on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which came into effect from the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020. The Agreement includes cooperation on law enforcement and criminal justice. In particular, the EU and the UK have agreed to establish a new framework for law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. This will allow for strong cooperation between national police and judicial authorities, including with respect to mutual legal assistance and extradition.
A range of measures has been put into effect to ensure the relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom in the Justice and Home Affairs field will remain strong and that co-operation is maintained in the public interest.
The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible, by law, for the management of An Garda Síochána, including matters relating to cooperation with law enforcement in other jurisdictions. As Minister, I do not have direct responsibility for such arrangements.
I am however informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána has not experienced any adverse effect to its border policing operations since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.
There continues to be ongoing cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI at an operational level in relation to national security issues, organised crime and general policing along the border.
The Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force also continues to enjoy high levels of co-operation and operational activity between all the Law Enforcement Agencies in tackling organised and cross jurisdictional crime. This collaborative effort continues to effectively achieve the shared objectives of An Garda Síochána and the PSNI in keeping our communities safe.