UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls for security treaty with European Union by end of 2019

February 17, 2018 12:57 am
British Prime Minister gives a speech during the Munich Security Conference on February 17, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (AFP photo)
Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a new security partnership with the that should be in place by next year to ensure military, intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation after exits the in 2019.
“The key aspects of our future partnership in this area will already be effective from 2019,” May told top European and American officials on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
“The partnership that we need to create is one that offers UK and EU ways to combine our efforts to greatest effect where this is in our shared interest,” May said.
May warned that the EU could put its citizens at risk if it allows ideology or rigid institutions to blind its leaders to the need to cooperate against terror threats.
“This cannot be a time when any of us allow competition between partners, uncompromising institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology to inhibit our cooperation and jeopardize the security of our citizens.”
Her comments come after the heads of key British, German and French spy agencies warned in a rare joint statement that intelligence sharing and cooperation must continue even after Britain exits the EU.
However, some experts have warned that cooperation on police and security matters could be limited by Britain’s refusal to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after Brexit.
May has previously drawn criticism for appearing to link security, in which Britain is a major player, with her hopes for a new trade deal with the EU.
The British government has faced fierce criticism both at home and by the EU for its lack of clarity on its Brexit strategy.
The uncertainty has raised fears that Britain could crash out of the bloc without a trade deal, incurring heavy costs on its domestic economy.
Nearly half of British voters support holding a second referendum on whether the UK should remain or leave the EU amid growing concerns about the government’s Brexit negotiations with the bloc, a poll by The Guardian newspaper shows.
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