Technical note on security, law enforcement and criminal justice

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, it provides analysis of the existing precedents for cooperation between the EU and third countries in the area of security, law enforcement and criminal justice before setting out the UK’s proposals for a new internal security treaty with the EU for future cooperation across these areas.

It is unlikely that the wide range of threats we face together will diminish; they will inevitably evolve and could well increase in intensity. Over the past year we have seen a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the UK and across Europe. Other plots have been foiled but more will be at the planning stage. The fact that the UK is leaving the
EU is unlikely to significantly affect the scale of movements of people between us: 37.6 million EEA and Swiss nationals entered the UK in 2016. Over 3 million EU nationals live in the UK and over 1 million UK nationals live in other Member States.

The UK’s analysis indicates that there will be a serious drop off in our ability to cooperate to tackle internal security threats if we do not seek to move beyond existing precedents for EU cooperation with third countries on individual measures. That shortfall would affect law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities in the UK and the EU27, and would have a direct impact on their ability to bring criminals to justice – and by extension, on public safety.

The UK believes there is a compelling case for developing a future relationship that protects critical operational capabilities and keeps our citizens safe. Our analysis suggests that this outcome would be delivered most effectively by a new, comprehensive Internal Security Treaty that draws on legal precedents for strategic relationships between the EU and third countries in other areas of the acquis and enables cooperation to be sustained on the basis of existing EU measures where this delivers mutual operational benefits. This would be the most efficient way to protect the capabilities that protect our citizens, avoid downgrading the quality and quantity of cooperation between us, and ensure our relationship can evolve over time as threats and technology change.