Umunna – For Britain’s security, PM must rule out Brexit with no deal

For Britain’s national security, it is crucial that the Government rule out a Brexit with no deal that would cause the UK to fall out of EU security measures, the Open Britain campaign says today.

The Prime Minister has throughout this election campaign argued that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. A Brexit with “no deal” would mean that the UK would automatically drop out of all of security and crime-fighting arrangements with the EU. This would fundamentally make the UK less safe. On security, even a ‘bad deal’ is better than ‘no deal’, if that ‘bad deal’ contained at least some future involvement in EU security measures.

Nobody voted to jeopardise their own safety or the security of the country in the referendum, but that is precisely what could happen if the Government continues down its hard Brexit path and seriously contemplates walking away without a deal. An Open Britain background briefing sets out how this would be a threat to Britain’s security.

Speaking today, the Prime Minister admitted that “programmes and projects and arrangements of cooperation that we have currently as a member of the European Union which would lapse when we leave the European Union”, and said the Government would try to negotiate “to continue to have those in future.” 

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

“There is a consensus across the political spectrum that we must give our brave police and security services the tools they need to keep the British people safe from acts of terror like the despicable recent attacks in London and Manchester. 

“To do so, we must recognise that the threats we face are international in nature and the best way of fighting them is to work closely with our partners across the world, including in Europe. The EU’s crime and terror fighting institutions, in which the UK plays a full role, give our security services crucial information about potential threats and suspects.

“The Prime Minister has now admitted that British participation in these institutions will ‘lapse’ when we leave the European Union, unless we negotiate continued involvement. That is why threatening to leave the European Union with no deal is so dangerous. Brexit without a deal could risk our involvement in these programmes ceasing with no new arrangements to replace them.

“This would be asking our brave police officers and security services to fight terrorism with one arm tied behind their backs. The Prime Minister should end her misleading rhetoric that no deal is better than a bad deal and, as a minimum, make clear that she will not even countenance walking away from the negotiating table without an agreement on security cooperation.” 


Notes to editors:

An Open Britain background briefing on the dangers to our security of leaving the EU with no deal is here: