Umunna – Former Met chief’s comments shows hard Brexit could make British people less safe

Public safety could be threatened unless the government “gets its act together” over data-sharing after Brexit, a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said today.

Lord Condon, who led Britain’s biggest police force from 1993 to 2000 said it could become "much more difficult" for police to share information with EU counterparts unless transitional arrangements are made, as current data-sharing arrangements allow UK police to access data from across the EU “almost instantaneously.”

He said: “There is a danger that from the end of March 2019, unless our government gets its act together on this issue, it will be much, much harder to check those databases and therefore our citizens could be less safe.”

He added that the UK's red line on accepting European Court of Justice rulings was the “biggest legal impediment” to transitional arrangements being made. 

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said: 

“These comments by a former Metropolitan Police Commissioner should make Ministers sit up and listen. He is quite clear that if Brexit damages our security links with the European Union – which is perfectly possible – British people will be less safe.

“As a member of the EU, we can access information from our European allies almost instantly, on everything from finger prints to car license plates. This makes it easier for our police to fight terrorism and organised crime.

“Police officers on the beat in this country will be undermined if hard Brexit prevents us from accessing such intelligence from our European allies. The Government must ensure that Brexit does nothing to weaken our security cooperation with the EU.”

/ends

Notes to editors:

Lord Condon’s comments are reported here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40634372