ARE we safer with the UK/EU deal or not?
Theresa May said in 2018: “Our first duty as leaders is to protect our citizens.” In October last year, she was seen mouthing something at Michael Gove in the Commons when he suggested the UK would be safer outside the EU. So, what has the UK/EU deal done for our security, and what did she ‘mouth’?
On leaving the EU, the UK automatically forfeits its membership of the European Arrest Warrant. This allowed us to extradite more than 11,300 people from Britain to Europe in the decade up to 2019, and bring back 1,600 suspects wanted for crimes here.
In 2005, the terrorist who tried to blow up the London Underground was extradited from Italy using the Arrest Warrant in 56 days. Before the Arrest Warrant was in place, it took 10 years to extradite a particular terrorist from Britain to France.
Following the deal, we don’t have access to EU databases, including criminal record information, DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data. We also lose the passenger name records database, which gives access to information on movements of terrorists, organised criminals and victims of trafficking.
In 2015, the UK used these databases to check the criminal records of foreign nationals more that 100,000 times, enabling the deportation of more than 3,000 European nationals who posed a risk to the public.
The National Police Chiefs Council has warned of the damage to crime-fighting, saying a loss of this information ‘presents an ongoing risk to the UK’. So, to the suggestion by Michael Gove that we would be safer, Theresa May mouthed ‘Utter rubbish!’ She might as well have said this about the deal in total.
From: Martin Hemingway, Foxhill Court, Leeds.
YOU made a recent reference to a trade deal between the EU and China worth close on 400 billion euros a year and business opportunities opening up for EU firms in China. No matter what our views on doing business with China, with its poor human rights record, this is a deal the UK has just walked away from.
On a related matter, Hilary Andrews on your Letters page asks when we internationalists will start campaigning to rejoin the EU – the answer Hilary is that we already are.
From: Geoff Brown, Gowers Close, Ardingly, West Sussex.
THE quotes from the Chairs of two of Yorkshire’s LEPs were extremely interesting (The Yorkshire Post, January 2). On the one hand you have the upbeat Roger Marsh keen to seize the challenge of Brexit, on the other you had the pitiful death rattle of Project Fear from David Kerfoot. If, as an ex-pat from the West Riding, I am allowed an opinion, I know which of the two I would want in my corner.
From: Patricia Foley, Birstall.
ON New Year’s Eve, MP Mark Eastwood tweeted that the UK was ‘taking back control’. If so, he must vote for the Trade Bill amendments to keep the NHS out of all trade deals and to give MPs the right to scrutinise and vote on all trade deals before being finalised. These amendments will ensure UK control of the NHS and prevent it being carved up between foreign private companies. This is what will happen if the NHS is not protected. So go on Mr Eastwood, give us action – and really ‘take back control’.
From: Tony Worthington, Northfield Lane, Highburton.
IF your correspondent James Bovington is concerned about the lack of European representatives on Strictly, good news again. This should afford the opportunity for more British dancers to take part and would be most welcome in an industry which has been in freefall since the beginning of the pandemic.
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