Vienna (AFP) – The UK will eventually lose access to EU-only police databases after it leaves the bloc, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator said Tuesday.
“Let’s be clear: based on the UK’s positions, our cooperation will need to be organised differently,” Michel Barnier said during a speech in Vienna.
“It will rely on effective and reciprocal exchanges, but not on access to EU-only or Schengen-only databases.”
Barnier said it was “understandable” that “the UK’s recent paper on security expresses a desire to keep the benefits of EU membership”.
However, he said this would not be possible because of the UK’s decision “to leave the EU, its institutions, structures and safeguards”.
Barnier said those institutions had been crucial in creating the trust necessary for enabling the current “intense cooperation” between member states on security matters.
“This trust does not fall from the sky! There is no magic wand,” Barnier said.
“If you leave this ‘ecosystem’, you lose the benefits of this cooperation. You are a third country because you have decided to be so,” he went on, adding that “an ambitious new relationship” would have to be negotiated on this basis.
He also directly addressed those in the UK who accuse the EU of being inflexible in what it has been prepared to offer in negotiations.
“We will not be drawn into this blame game. It would mean wasting time we don’t have,” he said.