Government accused of playing fast and loose with Londoners’ safety during Brexit negotiations
Londoners’ safety will be placed at risk if the Government does not maintain its current security arrangements with the European Union, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM has warned. At Friday’s London Assembly Plenary meeting, he seconded the motion calling upon the Home Secretary to take action to ensure that the UK does not lose access to crucial security databases and tools, such as the Schengen Information System and the European Arrest Warrant.
This motion was passed by the London Assembly, with the support of the Labour Group, Green Group and the Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, but voted against by the Conservative Group.
This came as the Prime Minister announced that the UK must brace itself for a ‘no-deal’ outcome, despite negotiations with the EU having been extended further.
On its current trajectory, the UK is set to fall back on inferior security arrangements with European member states, making it harder for police forces to track criminals crossing the UK borders from the continent, alongside presenting other obstacles for cross-border co-operation.
At a recent London Assembly Police and Crime Committee meeting, when questioned by Mr Dismore, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Dame Cressida Dick, revealed that she was not being updated on the situation by the Government. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, added that the Mayor had not yet received any response from Ministers to the concerns he has raised about the impact of a no-deal Brexit upon policing in the capital.
Mr Dismore, said:
“The Prime Minister is playing fast and loose with our safety in their reckless pursuit of a hard Brexit.
“The Government has shamefully kept the police and City Hall in the dark over this issue, but it is clear that we are facing the imminent threat of losing access to crucial security databases and tools.
“We are living through uncertain and challenging times, so if anything, we need to work towards even tighter co-operation with our closest neighbours.
“As our motion has urged, the Government must bring the continuity of the current security arrangements to the top of the table as negotiations come down to the wire”.
- The full text of the motion passed at the most recent London Assembly Plenary meeting, (Friday 11th December), can be found here. The livestreamed meeting can be watched back here;
- In October, the Prime Minister warned that the country must brace itself for a no-deal Brexit scenario. On Sunday 13th December, the Prime Minister issued an update that negotiation with the EU would be extended further;
- The most recent London Assembly Policing and Crime Committee meeting can be watched back here;
- Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitian Police, Neil Basu’s comments on the impact of a no-deal Brexit upon security co-operation with EU member states can be found reported here;
- Andrew Dismore AM is the Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden