In our age of insecurity, and threat, it is easy to make the assumption that security interests trump all. But is it so simple?
The status of the UK’s relationship to Europol and to other European police and intelligence agencies remains uncertain as the date for departure from the European Union approaches. This will no doubt form a part of the continuing and strangled talks between the UK and the 27 members.
Contact is complex enough, when information surfaces of an imminent threat. Turf-watching and communications failures between forces and intelligence organisations, are frequent and have serious consequences But as Britain’s position becomes more politically marginal, as far as the countries on the continent of Europe are concerned. can we be sure that bureaucratic walls will not start to be erected.
If this occurs, and who can say that it will not at least in the period when agreements are still in transition, information will be lost, leads missed, misunderstandings occur, scope for anticipation of threats reduced.
This holds some trepidation for law enforcement officials who traditionally stay out of politics as far as humanly possible.
The European Union is the first port of call for many crime groups, from Africa and the Middle East, as far as terrorism is concerned, and from Eastern Europe as far as organised crime groups are concerned. Britain is at the end of the line. Indeed, such an awareness may have formed part of the decision process in last year’s referendum.
But any possibility that this outpost of Europe becomes more exposed to some of the greatest threats we know must surely be at the forefront of policy makers intentions and planning as the negotiations to explore how the UK plans any form of departure from the European Union.