Lib Dem Press: Brexit deal leaves police in the dark

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has been speaking out about how Theresa May’s Brexit deal would end police access to vital EU-wide crime databases.

The Brexit withdrawal agreement states that the UK will lose access to both the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) at the end of the transition period. The Government’s ‘Assessment of the security partnership’ is available here

The Government’s ‘Assessment of the security partnership’, published today, admits that no agreement has been reached to enable UK police to continue to use the databases after that point. The paper states: “The exact nature of future cooperation on this type of data sharing will be determined by the formal negotiations on the legal text.”

The UK checked SIS II 539,382,244 times in 2017, or 1.5 million times a day. [SIS II statistics for 2017 are available here.]

 The UK also sent and received more than 163,000 requests and notifications for criminal records via ECRIS – 447 per day. ECRIS figures for 2017 were provided by the National Crime Agency in written evidence to the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee. See here

Ed said:

Theresa May’s Brexit deal risks leaving our police in the dark. British officers rely on SIS II and ECRIS every day to solve crimes and catch international criminals. Depriving them of access to these vital data-sharing systems will make it harder to put serious criminals behind bars and keep us all safe.

Theresa May keeps telling us she’ll work out a wonderful new security agreement before the transition period ends, but she has completely failed to make any progress whatsoever over the last two years.

The Liberal Democrats demand better for our police and our communities. That’s why we are fighting to give the people the final say on the deal, including the option to Exit from Brexit.

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