No-deal Brexit would put UK at greater risk of terror attacks, warns minister

Posted On: 
29th November 2018

A no-deal Brexit would jeopardise the ability of British and European authorities to protect the public from terrorism, a minister will warn today.

Ben Wallace will say that crashing out of the bloc would see a “real impact” on security cooperation as the UK loses access to EU databases used to track down terrorists and serious criminals.

The warning comes as Theresa May tries to round-up support from MPs in an attempt to avoid a seemingly-inevitable Commons defeat on her plan in two weeks' time.

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Under the Prime Minister’s deal, the UK and EU would continue to work together on security as they do now during a transition period, which is due to run until 31 December 2020.

The Security Minister will tell delegates at the International Security Expo in London that a new partnership would allow the prompt exchange of information on criminals and their whereabouts to spot potential threats, to exchange DNA and fingerprints, and to fast-track extraditions.

"The UK, through her experience of the last few decades has learnt that at the heart of effective security is close cooperation,” he will say.

“And we and Europe know, from bitter experience, that often when there is a mistake or when something has been missed that we find, time and time again, that it has been due to a failure of cooperation.

“A no-deal situation would have a real impact on our ability to work with our European partners to protect the public.

“This deal strikes the right balance to keep everyone safe. It will be an ambitious partnership that ensures we can continue to work with our European partners in tackling our shared threats.”

Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, dismissed the Brexit security deal as “dangerously flimsy” however.

“There is no new security treaty on offer, which is vital for cross-border policing arrangements especially extradition," she said.

"Our access to policing and justice databases are also likely to be compromised without a new security treaty.

“There is too only the vaguest reference to many of the other vital tools that police here and in Europe use to tackle international terrorism and organised crime.

“The Government offers only aspirations for a vague security partnership, no plans for proper security arrangements, including with Europol.

“It is simply unacceptable. This is a bad deal for the country and fails on guarantees for security.”