[7th Allotted Day]

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 10:05 am on 11th January 2019.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 10:05 am, 11th January 2019

I want to make some progress with this part of my speech but I will give way in due course.

We believe that this deal treats the issue of safety and security with a degree of recklessness. As it stands, this deal would potentially abolish the complex and highly effective co-operation that has been established between this country and other members of the EU in the areas of freedom, justice and security. It will constitute an ultra-hard Brexit in each of these areas, and could have severely negative consequences in all of them.

A long list of vital security and policing tools will be lost under this agreement. As matters stand, the European arrest warrant will go, along with real-time access to the Europol database. There is as yet nothing to allow access to Schengen Information System II or the existing Eurojust co-operation to continue. There is also no agreement to ensure that this country’s systems will be regarded as adequate for data protection, which would block mutual database access. On migration, there is a continuing lack of clarity about the extent to which the UK will continue to co-operate with the EU on the common European asylum system, which is relevant because future co-operation will now need to go beyond tackling only irregular migration. All these failures will have severe consequences for policing, security co-operation, and key areas of freedom and justice.

Currently, our police and security agencies across Europe can access one another’s data in real time to monitor the movement of drug and people traffickers, organised criminals and terrorists. The serial failings of this Government mean that large parts of this arrangement may well go if we vote for this deal.