Leaving the Eu: Security, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:33 pm on 18th January 2017.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service) 1:33 pm, 18th January 2017

My hon. Friend makes a very good point in that there are different agreements in different parts of the world with different partners around the world. It is important that we work to improve all those arrangements and get the benefits that we have seen from some of the work we have done and agreements we have secured across Europe more widely. Key partners in Europe have already assured us, as a Government, that they value our close co-operation on counter-terrorism matters as well.

We are very clear that effective co-operation with EU member states on security and policing in order to combat terrorism will continue to be a top UK priority. Looking ahead, our EU-level relationships will, of course, have to change, but our shared goal of assuring and enhancing the security of our citizens will not. It is important that we can find a way forward that works for the UK and the EU jointly, for mutual benefit. We will approach the negotiations from the perspective of what is best for the safety of all our citizens, and what is worst for those who seek to cause serious harm to innocent people and democratic values.

During negotiations, we will look to maintain the excellent co-operation that currently exists with our European partners. We fully recognise that the nature of our future relationship can be decided only in negotiations with member states and EU institutions. We are confident, however, that all citizens will be safer if we continue to work together and co-operate. We recognise the challenges involved in negotiating a new relationship, but we are committed to finding innovative solutions that enable us to continue to work together for the collective security of Europe and all the citizens of the United Kingdom.