Lives Put ‘at Risk’ by EU Bosses Blocking UK Security Pact, May Warns National Leaders

Theresa May
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty

The Prime Minister has warned European leaders that Brussels could put the lives of their citizens “at risk” if they block the UK from future security initiatives and cooperation for political reasons.

Theresa May made the warning in a direct appeal to the bloc’s 27 national leaders, who are accountable to their people, rather than the unelected leaders of the European Commission negotiating Brexit.

The bloc has taken a hard line on security, insisting Britain will be treated as a third country and not maintain the same level of access to information-sharing programmes such as EU-wide fingerprint and criminal intelligence databases after Brexit.

The UK is also currently fighting EU bosses who want to block Britain’s armed forces from accessing resources such as the EU satellite surveillance system Galileo – which the UK played a central role in developing and funding – after Brexit.

“I would urge you to consider what is in the best interests of the safety of your citizens and mine,” she told EU leaders Thursday night.

Over dinner in Brussels, Mrs May said the UK wanted to continue to contribute to the security of the continent, telling the leaders:

“Our ability to do so is being put at risk. The existing legal frameworks for third countries will not allow us to realise the ambitious future security partnership that I believe is in all our interest.

“Under our current position, the UK would, for example, be able to share information through key databases and agencies, such as SIS2, ECRIS, and Prum that allow our law enforcement to protect all European citizens.

“We would no longer be able to share real-time alerts for wanted persons including serious criminals.

“We would be able to respond less swiftly to alerts for missing people from either side of the Channel and reunite them with their loved ones. Our collective ability to map terrorist networks and bring those responsible to justice would be reduced.

“That is not what I want and I do not want to believe it is what you want either. When you meet as 27 tomorrow, I urge you to consider what is in the best interests of the safety of your citizens and mine and give your negotiator a mandate to achieve this crucial objective.”

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