Security experts call for UK to retain links with EU on security, despite Brexit

The UK Government should pursue continued involvement with EU security institutions, especially Europol, according to a new report on the security and resilience implications of Brexit.

The report, authored by a group of risk and security experts and produced for the business body London First, presents a focused analysis of the security and resilience challenges and opportunities post-Brexit. It’s recommendations including advising that UK authorities should take very firm action to counter hate crime and to enhance community resilience and for better strategic co-operation and information sharing between the public and private sectors to address deficiencies in UK security as a result of the EU referendum result.

One of the authors, Dr Alison Wakefield from the University of Portsmouth, said that Brexit requires leaders across all domains to sit up and take note of the potential impact of leaving the EU and that the security sector – whether publicly or privately owned – is no exception. Dr Wakefield is a senior lecturer in security risk management at the University’s Institute of Criminal Justice Studies. She said:

“The economic and political uncertainty created has inevitably raised many questions and the uncertainty comes at a time when the UK is also facing a heightened threat of terrorism, presenting yet further challenges. Immigration, both legal and illegal, was a key issue in the Brexit campaign. For the UK the danger is that immediate post-referendum tensions turn into longer-term pressures.

“There needs to be efforts to decrease tensions before they build to dangerous levels by creating greater community resilience through networks and partnerships that will help reinforce connections and strengthen bonds and behaviors.”

EU Security 

Robert Hall, Director of Security & Resilience Network at London First, said that the report attempts to outline the key issues that may affect the UK in terms of its security and resilience to shocks and stresses and in particular those that may arise from repeated terrorist attacks not just in the UK but also to UK interests abroad.

The report is aimed at senior executives in the public and private sectors who need to confront the issues presented by Brexit. It has already been referred to by Lord Collins of Highbury in a House of Lords debate on Brexit: Foreign and Security Policy Co-operation. Lord Collins drew attention in particular to the report’s recommendations for continued involvement with EU security institutions, especially Europol, and the context it provides on the key issues that may affect the UK’s security and, in particular, those that may arise from repeated terrorist attacks not just in the UK but against UK interests abroad.

View the full report

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