Leaving the European Union with no deal would weaken the UK’s fight against crime and terrorism, the Prime Minister has admitted today.
In her letter to the President of the European Council, she said: “In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened. In this kind of scenario, both the United Kingdom and the European Union would of course cope with the change, but it is not the outcome that either side should seek.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis has previously said that “we want to maintain or even strengthen” security cooperation with the EU after Brexit.
Commenting, Dominic Grieve MP, leading supporter of Open Britain and Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, said:
“The Prime Minister’s letter shows leaving the EU with no deal would not just hard our economy but also our security, which relies on close cooperation with Europe.
“Sharing information with our European partners and participating in institutions like Europol and the European Arrest Warrant give our police and security services more tools with which to fight the scourge of cross-border terrorism. Contrary to the opinions of hard Brexit supporters, the Government is in no doubt that our EU membership strengthens our security.
“It is in Britain’s vital national interests that we retain, and even strengthen, our security cooperation with the EU after Brexit. That means we have to avoid crashing out with no deal at all, as our security would be put at risk and we would need to spend time negotiating a new agreement, which in all likelihood would be worse than the one we had before.”
Notes to editors:
In her letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50, the Prime Minister wrote:
“If, however, we leave the European Union without an agreement the default position is that we would have to trade on World Trade Organisation terms. In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened. In this kind of scenario, both the United Kingdom and the European Union would of course cope with the change, but it is not the outcome that either side should seek. We must therefore work hard to avoid that outcome.”
David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has said:
“But I want to be clear to our European friends and allies: we do not see Brexit as ending our relationship with Europe. It is about starting a new one. We want to maintain or even strengthen our co-operation on security and defence.”
House of Commons, 5 September 2016