Crashing out of the EU without a deal could have a “calamitous” effect on Britain’s public safety as criminals could slip through UK borders unnoticed, the Home Affairs Select Committee has warned.
In a damning report into the effects a ‘no-deal’ scenario would have on Britain’s security, the committee urged the UK to hammer out a deal with the 27-member bloc that would see security cooperation between the two parties upheld.
Failure to do so, the committee warned, could “recklessly undermine security in both the UK and the EU, and will let the public down badly.”
The report raised concern over the UK’s ability to bring offenders to justice, given the fact that it risks being excluded from the European Arrest Warrant, under which some 10,000 criminals are extradited every year. It also cautioned against being excluded from Europol, which oversees the cooperation of cross-border police, and the Schengen Information System II (SIS II) – a massive database of criminals, terrorists and missing peoples that police claim has “no alternative.”
“Losing access to it [SIS II] 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 report read, before stressing that retaining access to the system should be a “primary negotiating objective” for the government.
Yvette Cooper, the Labour chair of the committee, said the prospect of no deal on security cooperation would be “unthinkable.”
“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,” she said.
“The primary purpose of any government is to protect its citizens from harm.
“That is what we expect the UK government and EU27 countries to do. It would be utterly irresponsible of both sides to fail to secure a deal in this area,” said the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, according to the Huffington Post.
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