Police chiefs contradicted Home Secretary Priti Patel, warning that a no-deal Brexit would make “policing more difficult” and lead to “a loss of capacity”, at a committee meeting restricted internal affairs today.
Their evidence came shortly after the Cabinet minister insisted that British security would not be affected if the lengthy EU-UK negotiations were to collapse in the coming days without a deal.
Deputy Deputy Police Commissioner met Richard Martin told MEPs he hoped the EU and the UK would achieve a “negotiated outcome” – and stressed that there would be “more risk” for the public if there were no ‘agreement.
Senior officials who have testified have repeatedly highlighted the impact of losing access to a range of EU databases in the event of a no-deal, including those to verify DNA, records judicial data and passenger data in the 27 Member States.
Steve Rodhouse, the chief operating officer of the National Crime Agency said that “these are extremely important capacities for us and we would not wish to lose them”. “Alternative powers and systems are suboptimal,” he added.
In question of Diane AbbottFormer shadow Labor Home Secretary Rodhouse said officers check criminal records in the EU system 4,000 times a week – and it currently takes an average of 66 days to process applications for third country, compared to 6 days currently.
Failure to reach a post-Brexit deal would also mean the UK could no longer exchange DNA data with members of the EU, the commission said. British police had generated “13,000 matches” since July 2019, according to Rodhouse. “These are capacities that we do not wish to lose,” he added.
In interviews released earlier, Patel claimed that British national security would not be affected in a no-deal scenario.
“We are constantly evolving,” Patel told Sky News in response to a question about the importance of EU databases. “So it’s wrong, it’s really wrong, if I may say so, to automatically say that the EU’s tools protect us in some way.”