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[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 2:03 pm, 5th December 2018

I do not think it is entirely true to say that those countries do not share those concerns. I think we would have to look to our very different national stories to understand that concern.

Migration is at the heart of this Brexit debate, and I am glad to have the opportunity to address it this afternoon. Before I turn to immigration, however, I want to speak about the other theme to today’s debate: security. Ministers have been trying to drum up support for the Prime Minister’s deal by saying that the alternative is no deal, which would be disastrous for security. But the Prime Minister’s deal would be almost as bad. At best, we can say that it is a blindfold Brexit on security. At worst, it may be leading us off a cliff on security matters.

Ministers insist that the deal that is being put before this House will offer us better arrangements than any other third country. I put it to Ministers that that is not the point. The point is not whether there are better arrangements in other third countries. The point is whether these arrangements will give us the same assurances on security and fighting crime that we currently have. If we go through the deal, we can see that there appears to be a trade-off on security, because in order to achieve a seamless transition on a range of security, policing and justice matters and have the current level of co-operation, it would require a new security treaty between the UK and the EU, yet there is no expressed aim in the exit document to move towards a security treaty.

Ministers cannot say that they are unaware of the need for a new security treaty. In Brussels, the stakeholders and commissioners who are concerned about these matters have been talking for two years about the importance of moving forward with a security treaty. Without a security treaty, we may run the risk of losing a number of tools that are vital to cross-border security, policing and justice, while other tools will be hampered or severely compromised.