Police warn 'no deal' Brexit could leave British public at risk

Posted On: 
7th August 2018

Crashing out of the EU without a Brexit deal could put the public at risk, police have warned.

Police warned over 32 EU crime-fighting mechanisms
Credit: 
PA Images

Local force bosses said the loss of access to EU-wide security powers and databases would be a blow for crime-fighting and they called on the Home Office to confirm contingency plans.

The Government has ramped up its planning for a no-deal Brexit and the EU has warned Britain it may not retain access to key mechanisms without a future arrangement.

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The Police and Crime Commissioners sounded the alarm over 32 measures currently in place - including the European Arrest Warrant, criminal record sharing and suspect tracking systems.

In a letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, which was leaked to the Guardian, they said law enforcement agencies face “a significant loss of operational capacity” if Britain is booted out of the networks.

“The UK and EU share a common and ever evolving threat picture,” the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners' cross-party Brexit Working Group said in the letter.

“We believe that a comprehensive partnership in all areas of policing and security co-operation is of mutual benefit to all.”

The group argued "considerable additional resource would be required for policing to operate using non-EU tools and that such tools would be sub-optimal - potentially putting operational efficiency and public safety at risk".

And they added: "We are therefore concerned that a 'no deal' scenario could cause delays and challenges for UK policing and justice agencies."

A Home Office spokesman told the paper: "There is widespread recognition that the UK and EU can most effectively combat security threats when we work together.

"It is important we maintain operational capabilities after Brexit, and we will continue to make this case to the European Commission."

FOOD SHORTAGES

Meanwhile, farmers have warned the UK Could run out of food in a year if it fails to plan for extra food security in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

National Farmers Union president Minette Batters said agriculture “has the potential to be one of the most impacted sectors from a bad Brexit”.

Her warning comes after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said ministers were planning to ensure an “adequate” food supply in the event of a no-deal departure from the bloc.