The British government’s “complacency” over securing a post-Brexit security deal with the European Union (EU) is putting public safety at risk, a parliamentary committee warned on Friday.
The Home Affairs Committee claimed a hard Brexit would result in a “cliff-edge” scenario, with UK police and intelligence agencies losing access to EU systems and key databases overnight.
Moreover, the committee’s chair, Yvette Cooper, said that even if May’s deal gets through parliament, it will be “near-impossible” to secure the UK’s continued access to EU criminal and counter-terrorism databases.
“The government isn’t being open about the implications of this deal. Continued police and security cooperation is in everyone’s interest, but there is far too much complacency,” Labour MP Yvette Cooper said on Friday.
A separate UK-EU security treaty is actively being negotiated, with Britain looking to maintain access to Schengen Information System (SIS II) and other vital databases even after withdrawing from the bloc.
However, the committee noted that there is no guarantee the UK will be able to agree “replica arrangements”, stressing this would result in a “significant” security downgrade.
“We know that this would mark a significant downgrade of our security and policing capabilities, and the police have made clear we would be less safe as a result,” the committee's chair added.