On Monday, I asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Amber Rudd MP, a very simple question: is the UK going to remain a member of EUROPOL following our exit from the European Union?
The Secretary of State noted that we have only just opted into the new elements of EUROPOL and are one of the largest contributors to EUROPOL. All good facts, but there was no detail on if we were going to remain a member of EUROPOL.
EUROPOL is an agency which links together all the police forces in the European Union and it has as its sole purpose to prevent and combat all forms of serious international organised crime and terrorism. This is needed now more than ever as crime has become more globalised and interconnected. Without EUROPOL the UK would struggle to close down criminal gangs who operate across borders as we would be limited in our resources.
As the Home Secretary said in her response we are one of the largest contributors to EUROPOL. This is because our police force is internationally recognised as one of the best in the world. We are able to share our expertise and use our significant influence to direct EUROPOL in a manner that effectively roots out crime.
I have now asked varying members of this Government if we will remain a member of EUROPOL. Each and every time I ask answer comes there none. I will keep pressing on this as our safety and security is the most important role of government. The responses I have had so far demonstrate a government that does not grasp this concept.