Restart Brexit talks because UK is 'less safe and secure', says Tory group 8 months ago

Restart Brexit talks because UK is 'less safe and secure', says Tory group

The group are calling for a renegotiation of the deal

A number of Tory MPs want the Brexit deal renegotiated because the United Kingdom is now "less safe and secure".

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Prime minister Boris Johnson has been accused by a Conservative group of “not being ambitious enough” due to the fact that the agreed Brexit deal cut off Britain's access to a number of vital criminal databases, including records of stolen identities and fugitives wanted by police.

The Conservative European Forum, which is run by senior Tories Dominic Grieve and David Lidington, have accused the prime minister of jeopardising the safety of Brits by agreeing a deal which sees the UK excluded from the European Arrest Warrant system.

They are now urging him to renegotiate the deal to ensure that security agreements are put in place.

Unlike Theresa May, Boris Johnson did not pursue separate agreements on security with the EU while negotiations of the Brexit deal were rushed through at the end of last year.

The consequences of that rush have been seen elsewhere, particularly in Britain's fisheries industry, which has seen exports nosedive and a number of long established business go under due to red tape and delays in getting products to buyers in Europe.

Without a fresh security agreement, the group says, criminals previously within the UK's scope would slip under the radar.

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“Criminality today does not respect national frontiers and our security systems must reflect this reality. The UK and EU must now urgently conduct talks to strengthen security cooperation," said Lidington.

Grieve added: “Every day that passes is storing up problems, as systems run more slowly and with less cooperation between security agencies. The government cannot simply cross its fingers and hope.”

While an EU member state, the UK had access to a database known as the Schengen Information System (SIS II) which went live in 2013. Used to track criminal behaviour, movement and information across Europe's many borders, it was used by British police more than 600 million times in 2019 alone.