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EU warned attempt to punish Britain over Brexit is a threat to bloc | Politics | News

Senior MEPs want the UK locked out of the bloc’s Schengen Information System after the transition period expires on December 31. The draft European report, seen by Express.co.uk, says action should be “immediately” taken to ensure Britain can no longer access the database. But a German MEP insisted the bloc should carefully think about the consequences for its security ties with Britain instead of punishing the country for Brexit.

Nicolaus Fest MEP said: “Brexit shouldn’t be used as an excuse to cut all important security ties with the UK at a time when the threat to our people is higher than ever.

“The British people voted to take back control of their affairs, not to turn their back on friendship and cooperation with the EU.

“By pursuing this punitive path the EU risks losing vital connections with a world leader in security.”

The document says: “Reminds all actors of its request to immediately disconnect the UK, as expressed in the letters to the Commission and to the Council Presidency of June 15, 2020”.

The document adds: “Recalls its position that ‘as a third country, the UK cannot have access to SIS.”

Slovenian MEP Tanja Fajon, who chairs the EU Parliament’s Schengen Scrutiny committee, told the EU Observer website: “The UK cannot have access to the Schengen Information System.”

Despite not being a member of the Schengen free-travel zone, Britain was invited to have partial access to the database in 2015 as part of the EU’s attempts to increase security cooperation.

But the report notes that the European Commission and Council failed to hold the UK to account over a series of breaches of the rules relating to SIS in 2017.

The database is used by police officers and border guards across the EU’s Schengen free-trade zone.

It contains information on missing persons, stolen items and suspected criminals.

British authorities have previously been accused of making illegal copies of the database and failing to share relevant information and alerts.

UK and EU officials are hoping to secure “operation cooperation” with future security and judicial ties as part of the Brexit trade talks.

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Security experts have insisted if Britain loses access to the databases it will be an operational blow to law enforcement.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the UK National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “This loss will have a major operational impact.

“The fall back for loss of SISII is Interpol.”

Steve Rodhouse, a director in the UK National Crime Agency, has made similar comments.

His agency has estimated that UK law enforcement bosses have made substantial use of the system.

As of December last year, it contained 4.6 million UK alerts relating to people and objects, including over 37,000 person alerts circulated by the UK.


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