Sadiq Khan warns ‘no deal’ Brexit would make London ‘less safe’
Sadiq Khan has said crashing out of the European Union without a trade deal would leave London ‘less safe’ in the face of major crime threats.
The capital’s mayor said the benefit of cooperation within the bloc was "huge" in allowing major cities to tackle crime together and warned that leaving a void following Brexit was “unthinkable”.
His intervention comes after David Davis announced MPs are to be given a binding vote on the terms of the final Brexit deal struck between the Government and the rest of the EU.
The Brexit Secretary said new legislation will be drawn up containing the details of the withdrawal agreement, with a Commons vote on whether the deal should be enshrined in law.
However, he insisted that if it is voted down, Britain will still leave the EU - but without a formal agreement with its remaining 27 member states.
Mr Khan said the prospect of leaving without a deal was "extremely worrying" when asked if it could have a "significant impact" on factors such as arrest warrants, extradition proceedings and ongoing transnational investigations.
“I think if we had no deal with the European Union, it would lead to those who visit our city, those who live in our city being less safe,” he told MPs at the Home Affairs select committee.
And he echoed Amber Rudd's swipe at the Government’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” mantra last month, by branding such an outcome "unthinkable".
“That’s why the Home Secretary used the term ‘unthinkable’ when it came to no deal," he added.
“We’ve got very good bilateral links with a number of cities and countries around the world. Met police officers are in Paris, New York, other places around the world…
“But you can’t underestimate the role the EU plays from the extradition, European arrest warrant, from in real time we share data via the Schengen data system, to wanted requests being passed through Europol, to the EU passenger list in relation to the watch list…
“Of course we’ve got excellent bilateral relations, but the value that’s added by the European Union is huge and the idea that we could have no deal, where all this stuff isn’t replaced straight away, from day one when we’re in the EU, to day two when we’re not, is, to quote the Home Secretary, unthinkable.”
Mr Khan said he told Brexit Secretary David Davis that continued safeguards and cooperation across Europe were “red lines” for the capital.
And the mayor suggested he had until recently assumed that continued protection such as is currently in place would be a given.
“These are red lines that we can’t go below. Now, the context of the conversation [with David Davis] is there will be a deal and we want these sort of things to be in the agreement.
“That was my sort of fall-back position. Now I just thought the idea that no deal was so bad for us economically that the issue of security wouldn’t need to be said but it now needs to be said…
“The idea of there being no deal with the European Union bearing in mind the evidence I’ve seen on how it helps with cross border crime and prevention is extremely worrying.”