Safety and security is a collective endeavour post-Brexit

19 Oct 2018
By Diane Abbott
Theresa May was in Brussels this week to achieve nothing.  The Conservative party is at war with itself and within these Brexit negotiations, they are losing sight of the needs of the British people. 

Labour has six tests for Theresa May’s deal in the Brexit negotiations.  One of those test, and a key criteria for assessing a good deal for Britain, is does the deal protect our National Security and our capacity to tackle cross border crime?

Speaking at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels this week, I came to make sure that the Labour party is working collectively with European partners on intelligence and security post-Brexit.

My clear view is that we should aim for a win-win outcome from Brexit that guarantees the security of the UK and the EU27, which shares our expertise and assets for the greater good.  Failing to achieve this in a reasonable timescale could risk a losing situation for both the UK and the EU.

Safety and security is a collective endeavour and multi-national endeavour.

The conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere which have contributed so much to the rise of instability and terrorism. I fully and wholeheartedly agree with the statement made by Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election campaign of 2017.  He argued “informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism.

Protecting this country requires us to be both strong against terrorism and strong against the causes of terrorism. The blame is with the terrorists, but if we are to protect our people we must be honest about what threatens our security.”

Terrorism, cyber attacks and wars do not stop at borders, so it is vital that we continue our cooperation on issues which the EU has made progress on with UK involvement.  These include tackling organised crime, tackling modern slavery, tax injustice and tackling financial crime and money laundering.  The UK has also opted into the European Protection Order, which protects women against violence.  These are all successes we want to build on.

It is crucial that the Conservative government redoubles its efforts in pursuing a successful agreement on security with the European Union, and in turn that the European Union responds constructively and with some urgency. Security is a mutual endeavour and negotiations must be a genuine two-way street.

International cooperation is not an optional extra but essential for the security of a single nation and for every individual within those nations.

The price of failure is too great to contemplate, but together we also have the prospect of success.


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