Fedster + 1,307 Posted December 1, 2017 Share Posted December 1, 2017 His comments contradict the Home Secretary's claims made in November. Michel Barnier, PA Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator says Britain will be shut out of Europol just weeks after the Home Secretary told a room full of police chiefs her conversations in Europe had been “very positive.” The European’s chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier warned at a security conference in Berlin this week there must be "no horse-trading" with the security of Europe's citizens as a result of Brexit. He set out the EU's hopes for a "broad, beneficial and balanced" post-Brexit security relationship, under which the UK will be able voluntarily to participate in European missions and operations, joint armaments programmes and exchanges on intelligence and cyber-warfare. But he made clear the UK will lose "levers for wielding influence" over European security, with no right to take part in meetings of defence ministers and ambassadors, no ability to take commanding roles in EU-led operations and no membership of the European Defence Agency or law enforcement agency Europol. His comments follow Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s claims at the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners summit in November that she is hoping Britain would maintain membership in Europol. “We want to make sure we keep people just as safe as we leave the European Union. We are proposing a third party treaty to enable us to still have access to all the systems in the EU we have found so useful including Europol,” she said on November 1. “All these elements help keep people safe because they provide information about people coming and going. We hope to have full access to that. I don’t underestimate the challenge in pulling it together but my initial conversations in Europe have been very positive. They say they want this to happen - UK is one of the biggest contributors to Europol." Mr Barnier said during its membership of the EU, the UK has "not been the spearhead" of European defence, making "limited" contributions to EU-led missions and resisting plans to set up a European defence headquarters, he said, adding: "The British have never wanted to turn the Union into a military power." He indicated the UK will now have to accept a more "autonomous" European approach to defence, in the light of the "strategic repositioning" of the US under President Donald Trump. "Our aim, autonomous and united European defence, which means a Union capable of acting by itself and always supportive in its alliances," he said. "The construction of a 'Europe of Defence' has begun. "Obviously, we will not wait for the United Kingdom to implement it, but when the time comes we will be ready to co-operate with the United Kingdom." Mr Barnier said the EU was hoping for an "ambitious partnership" with the UK on security. "Theresa May has assured the member states several times that the UK is committed unconditionally to upholding European security," he said. "I welcome this commitment and thank Theresa May for making it. "History teaches us that there must be no horse-trading over the security of Europeans, that is an absolute necessity." In July, Chris Farrimond, deputy director of the intelligence collection and international directorate at the NCA stressed the critical importance of Europol but admitted Britain may have to settle for observer status. He said at the Criminal Justice Conference 2025: "Why the European law enforcement relationship is so important to us is that increasingly all serious organised crime has an element to it, we share the same threats. "Although we may attach different different priorities in different nations, and that does affect the level of cooperation in some areas, we share the same risks including drugs, child sexual exploitation and guns." "This (current status) means we can have a pretty good expectation of the kind of response we will get from partners with such things as sharing undercover officers and other resources.” And in May Europol director Ron Wainwright warned retaining membership would not be an “easy cut-and-paste agreement.” National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for International Criminality, Temporary Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin said: "The shape of our future relationship with Europe, including our relationship with Europol, is quite rightly an issue for government to negotiate. “Police chiefs, the NCA and other law enforcement partners have been clear that we require close cooperation and continued intelligence and data sharing with our European colleagues to ensure the safety of our communities from increasingly cross-border threats such as organised crime, child sexual abuse, cyber-attacks and violent crime.” But he failed to address questions about whether he is concerned Mr Barnier’s comments came just weeks after the Home Secretary claimed talks were progressing well. A spokesman for the Home Office said: "The Prime Minister has set out the UK’s unconditional commitment to continue to cooperate with the EU on security, covering all aspects of our security relationship with the EU from foreign and defence policy, to law enforcement and criminal judicial cooperation. "We recently outlined proposals that set out our ambition for this future partnership, building on the already deep level of collaboration that exists with the EU. "Both the UK and EU have made clear our shared commitment to continued cooperation to keep Europe safe – but the exact nature of this is subject to ongoing negotiations." But he did not respond to specific questions about Amber Rudd's conference speech on November 1. View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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