Security, law enforcement and criminal justice: a future partnership paper

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details September 2017
Publication Date 18/09/2017
Content Type

The United Kingdom government issued on the 12 September 2017 the tenth of a series of papers putting forward its negotiating position on the UK’s future partnership with the European Union (EU). It was published in the context of the negotiations being undertaken with the EU for the UK to leave the union following the Brexit referendum vote of June 2016.

This paper discussed options for maintaining internal security collaboration in the future partnership .

Further information
Operational cooperation on internal security takes place on a daily basis at multiple levels: at the EU level, bilaterally with Member States, and through non-EU multilateral fora.

The basis on which the United Kingdom cooperates at the EU level will evidently be altered by the UK’s withdrawal, raising the question of how we should shape that partnership in the future.

Britain will look to agree a comprehensive new security, law enforcement and criminal justice partnership with the EU after Brexit, to fight shared threats from terrorism and organised crime, the UK Government said. Britain stressed the need to build upon and enhance the internal security cooperation that already existed.

The paper called for a comprehensive model for cooperation between the UK and EU on security, law enforcement and criminal justice — reflecting that Britain’s operational processes and data sharing systems are already uniquely aligned with the EU.

The three core objectives for the new arrangements were:

+ Protecting the safety and security of citizens and upholding justice in the UK and across the EU;
+ Maintaining the closest and most cooperative partnerships between Britain and the 27 EU member states; and
+ Continuing to cooperate on the basis of shared democratic values and respect for the rule of law.

The UK had been one of the leading contributors to the development of effective information sharing and law enforcement cooperation at an EU level – working through agencies such as Europol to bring criminals to justice and prevent crime taking place.

Britain would remain committed to the security of the European continent after Brexit, and the determination to protect the safety and security of EU citizens as well as UK citizens would not diminish.

The EU also recognised the importance of cooperation in this area and has stated it was committed to the fight against terrorism and international crime.

The paper said there should be a new security treaty between the UK and EU after Brexit to provide a legal basis for continued working — and in moving to any new agreement, it would be important to ensure that there were no operational gaps created by the transition from one set of arrangements to another.

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Related Links
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
The UK in a Changing Europe, 07.07.17: Brexit and the future of UK-EU police and security cooperation (et al)
United Kingdom: Department for Exiting the European Union: News, 18.09.17: Britain seeks comprehensive security and law enforcement partnership with EU after Brexit
BBC News, 18.09.17: Brexit: UK reveals details of proposed new EU security deal
The Guardian, 18.09.17: UK calls for treaty on post-Brexit security cooperation with EU
Politico, 18.09.17: UK wants the ‘closest possible’ security relationship with EU post-Brexit
UK: Parliament: House of Lords: Library: Library Briefing, LLN-2018-0016 (01.02.18): Proposed UK-EU Security Treaty
Blog: EU Law Analysis, 25.09.17: UK/EU Security Cooperation After Brexit: the UK Government’s Future Partnership Papers
UK: Parliament: House of Lords: Committee: EU Committee: EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee: News, 25.04.18: Brexit: the proposed UK-EU security treaty – call for evidence launched

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