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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Is Brexit putting lives at risk?

Over at the Independent, Nick Clegg has pointed out the obvious truth that Labour and the Tories seem reluctant to admit, Theresa May is putting the safety of Britons at risk after Brexit, by failing to explain how the police will retain access to EU anti-terror information.

He is particularly critical of the Prime Minister for vowing to pull the UK out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), whatever the cost. He has pointed out that outside the ECJ, Britain is likely to lose the right to share data through the Europol enforcement agency and the Schengen information system, which holds the names of 8,000 suspected terror suspects:

On Monday, Ms May was asked if she had an “alternative plan” to keep the national security data flowing but simply referred vaguely to trying to agree “appropriate oversight” of the information. Instead, the Prime Minister vowed: “I am very clear that the European Court of Justice and its jurisdiction in the UK is going to be ended”.

Delivering a major speech on the threats posed by Brexit, Mr Clegg will say: “How will Britain be kept safe after Brexit?

“Theresa May has vowed to pull Britain out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, a decision which means we would no longer have access to vital EU-wide databases of criminal activity.

“So where are the contingency plans when our police forces find themselves unable to check the databases of 28 EU countries at the touch of a button? If only she would deign to tell us, then maybe we could judge.”

Mr Clegg, now the Lib Dems Brexit spokesman, will also accuse the Prime Minister of a breathtaking U-turn on the security implications of EU withdrawal.

“Just last year, a not-so-distant era when Theresa May made perfectly rational arguments against leaving Europe, she warned that being in the UK makes us “more secure from crime and terrorism.”

Britain risks a wait of up to three years to be granted an “adequacy decision” from Brussels, threatening to stop the flow of data immediately unless a temporary deal can be struck.

Crucially, separate agreements may have to be struck with individual police forces and intelligence services – with the danger that vital information will “fall between the cracks”, one expert said.

How can the Prime Minister justify this hiatus in the current climate?
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