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Government responds to security treaty report

02 November 2018

The Government has responded to the report of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee on Brexit: the proposed UK-EU security treaty. 

Background

The Committee's report, published on 11 July 2018, examines the feasibility of the Government's ambition to negotiate a single, comprehensive security treaty with the EU. The Committee called on the Government and EU to make pragmatic compromises on security matters to achieve the over-riding objective of protecting the safety of UK and EU citizens after Brexit.

The Committee's main conclusions included:

  • The Committee supports the Government's ambition to continue security cooperation after Brexit, but there is no evidence that sufficient progress has yet been made in the negotiations. The Committee believes it is unlikely that such a treaty can be agreed in the time available.
  • Operational continuity and the security of both the UK and EU would be seriously undermined were there to be an abrupt end to cooperation in March 2019. The Committee therefore welcomes the agreement of both the UK Government and the EU that UK participation in those JHA measures in which the UK currently participates will continue during the transition period.
  • The Committee supports in principle the Government's objective of securing a cross-cutting agreement on data protection. But this means that the sequencing of the negotiations will be vital: if future security cooperation is to be effective, the Government must reach an agreement on data before agreeing a security treaty.
  • The Committee also notes that in some areas security cooperation will have to change post-Brexit. For instance, some EU states, including Germany, are constitutionally barred from extraditing their own nationals to non-EU states. The Government has yet to provide any evidence-based analysis of the effect of such changes.

Further information

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