A UK parliamentary committee has claimed that Britain is set for a “catastrophic” Brexit security deal which could result in terrorists and criminals going free.
The Home Affairs Committee, chaired by Labour MP Yvette Cooper, described the lack of progress on post-Brexit security cooperation between Britain and the EU as “disturbing” and insisted a no-deal scenario would be detrimental to both sides.
“The gap between the UK government and the EU and the lack of progress on policing cooperation is very disturbing. To have no deal on security cooperation would be unthinkable,” MP Cooper said.
“It would stop the police sharing crucial information on dangerous international criminals, stop border officials getting urgent information on criminals trying to enter the country, undermine investigations into trafficking, terrorism, organized crime and slavery, jeopardize trials and justice for victims, and let criminals go free.”
The committee also accused Brexit negotiators of “putting political red lines ahead of public safety and national security,” and urged the British government to submit the UK to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisdiction to allow authorities to maintain access to its criminal database.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly vowed to pull Britain out of the ECJ’s jurisdiction as part of Brexit, but she hasn’t presented a solution which would allow British authorities to continue to have access to the court’s database once it withdraws.
Moreover, the Home Affairs Committee warned that the UK could lose access to the European Arrest Warrant and Schengen Information System II (SIS II), and some Europol information systems and resources.
Furthermore, the database has a section for suspected terrorists and extremists. Youssef Zaghba, one of the London bridge assailants, was placed on the list over 12 months before the attack took place.
“Without UK access to SIS II, individuals who pose a genuine threat will be able to enter the UK or the EU without important intelligence being flagged to border officials. Losing access to it would be a calamitous outcome for the UK, which would pose a severe threat to the government’s ability to prevent serious crime and secure the border effectively, but it is an increasingly likely prospect,” the committee concluded.