Mayor calls for separate EU security agreement

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for a separate security agreement with the European Union to protect the safety of Londoners after Brexit.

Hoping to mitigate against the risk of a no deal, the proposal, distant from the politics of Britain’s main deal, is based on the relationship that London and Europe have, with both relying heavily on information-sharing with other security services to thwart the increased terror threat.

There are 32 measures used on a daily basis by the police, including access to Europol, the European Arrest Warrant and EU Passenger Name Records, that have played a huge part in helping police and security services disrupt serious organised crime, tackle the trafficking of deadly weapons, and stop criminals passing through borders.

Following four terrorist attacks in the capital last year, as well as the rise in the threat of far-right extremism, Khan has set out six red lines which are crucial for continued cooperation on security and counter terrorism with European partners and should form part of a separate security deal.

Among the six, Khan stressed EU Passenger Name Records, which allow the UK Border Force to check passenger details against watch-lists, making it harder for organised criminals and terrorists to hide their movements, and Europol, which enables vital intelligence sharing to help combat serious crimes including terrorism, money laundering and human trafficking.

Khan said: “One of the many benefits of working with the EU has been in policing and security with cross-border cooperation improving the safety of Londoners. That’s why I am deeply concerned about the impact that crashing out of the European Union without a deal will have on the safety and security of our city. National policing experts have already warned that losing access to the European Arrest Warrant and Europol, to name just two examples, will make it harder to keep tabs on terrorist and serious organised criminal networks.

“It will fundamentally mean asking our police and security services to tackle the terrorist threat with their arms tied behind their backs. It’s time the government recognised just how important this is and that’s why I am today calling for a standalone separate deal that can be done with EU leaders on security. It cannot continue to be caught up in the issues holding back our hopes of negotiating any form of sensible deal with the EU – it’s far too important for Ministers to play politics with when our safety is on the line.”

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