THERESA MAY’S Brexit battles show no signs of going into abeyance. For, even though there’s a momentary truce in the Tory civil war, she’s still trying to negotiate with the European Union, business chiefs and the leaders of the devolved nations.
Yet, while there’s little prospect of any accord between the Prime Minister and Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, after the two leaders met in Edinburgh, all of these Brexit stand-offs – fuelled by the divisiveness of the debate – are in danger of putting Britain and Europe’s respective interests at risk.
Neither the UK Government, nor the EU, wants this country, or the continent of Europe, to be less safe. No one voted for this on June 23, 2016, when the electorate took the momentous decision to return this nation’s sovereignty to Westminster.
However, due to the increasing possibility of Mrs May being unable to reach a Brexit deal that is remotely acceptable to Parliament, there’s a risk of existing co-operation on securty, and the sharing of intelligence in the fight against terrorism, also coming to an abrupt end next March.
As such, the country’s police and crime commissioners are right to raise their concerns – it will fall to them to pick up the pieces – and ask Sajid Javid, the relatively new Home Secretary, for details of his contingency plans.
Nevertheless, they should also be putting the onus on the Home Office, and others, to reach transitional agreements with the EU on those policies where the primary interest – the safety of Europe’s citizens in this instance – so it remains as hard as possible for criminals and terrorists to endanger the public.
Perhaps Mrs May should spend more time focusing on those issues where there’s a genuine desire for agreement. For, if she did, it might become clear that the UK and EU do, in fact, still have a lot in common and can still maintain close co-operation on key issues.