Theresa calls for new security deal with EU

Lester Mason
February 18, 2018

In a speech in Munich, the British Prime Minister will warn that "rigid institutional restrictions" and "deep-seated ideology" must not be allowed to jeopardise the safety of citizens.

Prime Minister Theresa May said key aspects of a future partnership should be effective from 2019, emphasising she was unconditionally committed to European security.

"We must do whatever is most practical and pragmatic in ensuring our collective security".

We have never defined our foreign policy by our membership of the European Union, she said.

The prime minister risks a rift with Europe in a speech in which she will say the United Kingdom wants to stay closely aligned with Europe on security policy, but that "rigid institutional restrictions" or "deep-seated ideology" could leave gaps that terrorists and organised criminals may seek to exploit.

She will urge EU leaders to "safeguard the practical co-operation we have developed and nurtured over decades", while warning of "damaging real world consequences" if leaders reject new forms of co-operation outside the writ of European law.

Asked whether she viewed the Prime Minister's wish for a bespoke Brexit deal, not based on any current models, as "cherry-picking", the Chancellor replied: "In the end, the outcome needs to be a fair balance, that deviates from the single market and not as close a partnership as we've had, but I think one can find that".

Meanwhile, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed the idea for what he called a "security alliance" with Britain, adding that the issue should be separated from the rest of the Brexit debate. There, she spelled out what kind of relationship her country wants with the European Union once Britain quits the bloc.

May has insisted that Britain must leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice after Brexit, which complicates the way forward since both Europol and the European Arrest Warrant come under the court's oversight. "I understand why some would like to do that, but we don't want to", he said.

"As internal and external secury become more and more intwined, with hostile networks no longer only outed in state-based agression, and weapons designed not just to be deployed on the battlefield, but through cyberspace, so our ability to keep our people safe depends evermore on working together", she said.

She also warned European partners not to put politics above cooperation against crime and terrorism.

Mrs May will add: 'Those who threaten our security would like nothing more than to see us fractured.

"We as 27 will be very carefully vetting that process to see to it that it is as close as possible but that it is different to what Britain now has as a member - which is what they want and what the British people want but this does not mean that it needs to be cherry-picking".

"As leaders, we can not let that happen". "We gave the decision to the British people and they have a right to believe their politicians", May said. He told the conference that the European Union and Britain should resolve security questions separately to other Brexit issues such as trade.

The British exit from the EU, which is due to take place in March next year, has seen Germany throw its weight behind a European defence force.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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