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Security minister's no deal BREXIT warning

30 November 2018

SECURITY MINISTER Ben Wallace has warned experts that a no-deal Brexit will have a real impact on protecting the public.

Speaking at the International Security Expo in London, he said that exiting the European Union without an agreement will leave the UK and EU at greater risk.

The UK is expected to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Under the deal negotiated by Mrs May, the UK and EU would continue to work together as they do now during a transition period, which is due to run until 31 December 2020.

How the UK will leave the EU is accompanied by a non-binding declaration on the future relationship between the EU and UK and the promise to co-operate on security after the transition period is set out in this document.

If MPs reject the bill on 11 December - and no other solution is found - the UK could leave without a deal. Current arrangements on security co-operation would end on 29 March.

He said, "The UK is leaving the EU. But while the partnership with the EU and its Member States must change to reflect our new status

"Withdrawing from the security arrangements we use with EU partners in March next year having made no alternative provision would create immediate and lasting harm to both sides and undermine our ability to work together.

"It would create an environment where legal barriers impede the work of our law enforcement agencies and police forces – benefitting no-one but those who wish to do us harm.

"We know from our history that the UK’s security is bound up with Europe’s security.

"That is why the Prime Minister made clear earlier this year that Europe’s security is our security.

"And it is also why the deal the UK has reached with the EU is designed to help us sustain that partnership after we exit the European Union.

"The agreement we have reached will help us to build the broadest and most comprehensive security relationship the EU has ever had with another country.

"In the short term, the Withdrawal Agreement will set up a transition period of 21 months starting next March, and during which we will continue to work with our EU partners through security tools and structures we use now. Our police and our public will see almost no change for the next two years."

"If we reject the current deal and go back to square one, this will open the door to far greater uncertainty, increased risk and the prospect of downgrading our ability to protect the public.

"If we reach March next year without a deal in place, we will not enter a transition period, and will therefore be locked out of many of the EU security tools that currently help our police, law enforcement and criminal justice partners do their jobs.

"We are leaving the EU and whatever you think about the other areas that will be affected we must make a deal for the sake of all our security.

"We have our borders back, we will have our money and our laws. But above all we need to be safe and I believe that this deal delivers."