The attempted assassination of Mr. Sergei Skripal and his daughter on UK soil was a heinous attack on UK soil. It has become clear that this was undertaken by the Russian state. The UK gave the Kremlin the opportunity to provide an explanation for the use of banned chemical weapons in the UK but they decided to turn their backs.
I welcomed the steps being taken by the Prime Minister. She has taken the right decision to protect the UK and our citizens. I wanted assurances that we will be doing all we can to track and stop the movement of Russian assets and materials into the UK and how the Prime Minister will be securing the support of our allies in NATO and the EU.
On Monday, I asked the Prime Minister – once again – for her assurances that the UK will remain a member of EUROPOL when we leave the EU.
But once again she could not make such assurances. Instead she noted her usual line that it will be up for negotiation with the remaining 27 member states of the European Union.
As you will know, I am strongly of the opinion that we must work together with our European partners to defend ourselves from those who wish us harm. EUROPOL, and associated bodies, were created by the UK to ensure that Europe had a connected network of police who could share intelligence and target criminals wherever they may be.
We have seen many success stories with EUROPOL and it has allowed our police to share their expertise throughout Europe. Our police are the best in the world. They police through consent of the community and through EUROPOL we have been able to export this citizen led approach. Loss of membership of EUROPOL would put us at risk.
I will continue to press the Prime Minister and her Government for our membership of EUROPOL and other security organisations. The safety of the population is the first duty of government. Failure to secure membership of EUROPOL is a failure of that duty.
On Monday, the Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, made a statement to the House of Commons following her meeting in Brussels with other European leaders.
I asked the Prime Minister if she would confirm that remaining within the European Arrest Warrant, EUROJUST and EUROPOL will be in the interests of the UK. Read more “PM Statement on European Council Meeting”
On Monday, I questioned the Prime Minister, during a statement on her recent talks in Brussels, about her plans to protect the UKs security following Brexit.
I am particularly concerned about the prisoner transfer agreement, EUROPOL and the European Arrest Warrant being at threat because of Brexit. All of these key international security agreements give our police the tools they need to tackle crime, and individuals who commit crimes effectively.
If the UK was to lose these agreements post-Brexit it could be potentially damaging to our ability to send back criminals to their native country, track down criminals who have fled the UK and smash organised crime cartels that operate across borders. As a former Home Officer Minister and Justice Minister I have seen first hand how these weapons against crime work effectively in bringing about justice.
The Prime Minister, once again, did not provide a detailed response to the House of Commons. She instead chose to inform the House that the main topics that were discussed at the summit were Russia, migration and trade. Noting that the negotiations will take place separately.