In her letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty Prime Minister Theresa May noted that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement in place, the country will then have to operate on World Trade Organisation terms.
With regards to security, failing to agree would mean that cooperating against terrorism and crime would be weakened, an outcome that both the UK and the EU must strive to avoid, the letter continued.
Since then, interior minister Amber Rudd has come out and said that Britain could well leave Europol, the EU police agency, once Brexit is complete – and could potentially take all its information with it when it goes, if no security deal is agreed upon.
Speaking to Sky News, Ms Rudd said: “What we need to do is have a relationship with Europol that allows us equal access. We need to have an agreement with Europol to make sure that we continue to contribute and we continue to take out.”
She went on to note that the UK is in fact the biggest contributor to the policy agency so if it left information would go with it – but European partners want to keep this information where it is, since the UK helps to protect other European countries as well, <atitle=”Read the full story on Reuters” href=”http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-europol-idUKKBN1702DK?il=0”>Reuters reports</a>.
Some critics have come forward to slam Ms May’s letter to Mr Tusk, such as Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who described it as a “blatant threat”, with security cooperation “lumped together” with trade – a move that is “utterly scandalous”.
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