Former European security chief warns UK of no-deal Brexit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Europol headquarters at the Hague (Netherlands) plays a central role in safeguarding European security

As both the UK and the European Union (EU) prepare for a no-deal Brexit which is now widely judged to be inevitable, a former European security chief has warned Britons to be “very worried” about the future.

Max-Peter Ratzel, who led the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) from 2005 to 2009, claims that a no-deal outcome poses a threat to British “national security”.

Speaking to Sky News (December 12), Ratzel urged leaders on both sides to come to an agreement on “security co-operation” in the event of a no-deal outcome.

"I would be worried. I would be very worried. I'm worried as a European as we lose part of our competence, but I'd be even more worried if I was British", Ratzel said.

"You lose more than we lose by nature - look at the size of the [European] communities, look at the size of the data”, the former Europol chief claimed.

Ratzel, who is a German citizen, told Sky News that the future of UK-EU security co-operation looks “very risky and very complicated”.

The UK will automatically leave Europol on January 01, 2021 and even in the event of an agreement “operational-partner” or “third-party” status is the best that British security officials can expect from their EU counterparts.

This diminished status places the UK on the same level as the United States, Norway and Australia, which means reduced access to sensitive data and much less influence within Europol.

In addition, the UK would also lose access to the Schengen Information System, a database that provides real-time alerts for police and border force on 35,000 people wanted under a European Arrest Warrant.

Hopes of a wide-ranging trade agreement between the UK and the EU plunged dramatically after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday (December 11) that the chances of a no-deal Brexit are “very, very likely”.


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