Home Politics Sajid Javid to EU: Stop using security as Brexit ‘bargaining chip’

Sajid Javid to EU: Stop using security as Brexit ‘bargaining chip’

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The U.K. is prepared to abide by EU rules to use the bloc’s policing and security tools post Brexit, but Brussels must stop using the issue as “a bargaining chip” in negotiations, according to U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

In a phone interview with POLITICO’s Brussels Playbook following a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Fernando Grande-Marlaska in Madrid Tuesday, Javid said that it was “common sense” for Brussels and London to come to a deal that would protect citizens on either side of the Channel.

“We need to see more ambition from the Commission on this to recognize that security isn’t a bargaining chip. It is something that the citizens of Europe would expect their leaders to prioritize,” Javid said. “We’ve made it clear that our commitment to European security is unconditional.”

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said in June that the U.K. will fall out of EU security databases such as the Schengen Information System — a pan-EU tool that allows police to trace people, weapons or vehicles used in crimes — and the European Arrest Warrant by dint of its decision to leave the bloc. Barnier accused Britain of wanting “to maintain all the benefits from EU membership without being in the EU.”

“They [the U.K.] try to blame us for the consequences of their choice,” he said in a speech in Vienna.

But Javid said the U.K. was looking for a bespoke arrangement on security. “We don’t accept that the relationship needs to be that of a third country,” he said.

The home secretary added that future cooperation should be written into a “formal treaty that provides the legal basis for the cooperation” and the agreement “should name the products, the structures that we want to continue cooperating on.”

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