As many of you know, I strongly believe that our safety and security is achieved through us working with our partners and allies across the world. Being able to share police and security force information with dozens of our neighbouring countries ensures that we can hunt down criminals quicker than if we did it alone.
EUROPOL is one of those organisations that we must maintain membership of. But the UK Government wants us to leave it. This is a ridiculous idea that puts ideological fervor over pragmatism. I wanted to check if this was still the UK Government’s policy during Home Office Questions.
Sadly, the non-answer I received seemed to indicate that this is still the UK Government’s policy. This will undermine our police and security services. I will continue to campaign for us to retain our membership of EUROPOL to keep Delyn and the UK safe.
A new report was published by the UK Government this week on the impacts on the UK and the UK Government’s preparedness for it.
One section that I found deeply worrying was that on security. In the document it noted that we will lose access to all security protocols in place that keep us safe. Meaning our access to information on criminals would be undermined.
The Minister decided to play the blame game instead of answering my point. What he didn’t tell you was that the UK Government has always been intent on opting out of some of the security measures currently in place because of their ideologically driven red lines. They are undermining our national security and the sooner they realise that Brexit is not an internal Conservative Party game and is a serious policy decision being made for our country the sooner we can have some grown up politics.
Before Parliament was unlawfully shut down, I voted with my colleagues to ensure the release of the Yellowhammer papers. These papers outlined the impact of a no deal Brexit upon the country.
As you know, my gravest concerns for a no deal Brexit have focused on its impacts upon our security and safety. Leaving without a deal means we lose all the security tools our police and security services use on a daily basis. Things like the European Arrest Warrant – allowing us to track down criminals who have fled the country and bring them back to face justice – EUROPOL – which allows us to share information with police forces across the EU – and SIS 2 – the border monitoring software.
In paragraph 10 of the report, which was drafted by Boris Johnson MP’s government, it notes that we will lose access to all of these and it will put us at risk. I asked the Minister responsible for no deal Brexit, Michael Gove MP, if he had made a risk assessment on this. But more importantly if he thought the risk was worth taking.
The Minister provided no solid response.
The Intelligence and Security Committee – on which I sit – is the committee that scrutinises and holds the UK Government to account for its action over national security issues.
We previously undertook an investigation into rendition but had to conclude it as the UK Government refused our access to certain witnesses. We expect the news of a judge led inquiry into rendition should be announced in the next few days.
I asked the de facto Deputy Prime Minister if this judge led inquiry would have access to all witnesses including the ones that our committee could not hear from. The Minister did not reply to the details of my question but said he was listening to my challenge.