Following Friday’s terror attack in Parsons Green where an explosion on a packed commuter train left 30 people injured, the Brexit Secretary has called on his Brussels counterparts to agree a new treaty to protect collaborative efforts amid continuing uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU.
He has drawn up proposals for a new treaty to give legal backing to intelligence, law enforcement and criminal justice partnerships after March 2019.
Mr Davis said: “Effective international cooperation is absolutely crucial for both the UK and the EU if we are to keep our citizens safe and bring criminals to justice.
“We already have a deep level of collaboration with the EU on security matters and it is in both our interests to find ways to maintain it. We approach negotiations on our future special partnership with the EU as an opportunity to build on our existing achievements.
“A new security treaty with the EU would be underpinned by our shared principles, and should make sure our partnership has the agility to respond to the ever-changing threats we face.”
In a future partnership paper released on Monday, Mr Davis will say the UK and the EU would both benefit from making sure there are no holes in operational ties when Britain exits the bloc.
The document is set to lay out proposals to keep in place ties on security and justice between Britain and the EU that would be legally underpinned by the treaty.
But the arrangements should be “versatile and dynamic enough” to allow countries to respond to changing threats, it will say, and there must also be provision for dispute resolution.
Following the Parsons Green explosion, Theresa May raised the terror threat level to ‘critical – meaning an attack is expected imminently, and armed officers have been seen on patrol across the country.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said recent terror attacks across the bloc showed the scale of the threat and the need for cooperation.
She said: “Recent events in the UK and across Europe have shown the criminal and terrorist threats we face are varied and increasingly international. The long-standing collaboration we have with our European partners allows us to jointly address these threats and keep our citizens safe.
“As we prepare to leave the EU it is therefore vital that we agree a new way to ensure continued security, law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation.”
Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and Spain are among the European countries that have been rocked by terror attacks in recent months and maintaining security cooperation is vital to keeping citizens safe.
Last month, Europol called for further collaboration between intelligence agencies to help combat increasing terror threats.
Rob Wainwright, the head of the European law enforcement agency, told the Today programme: “I’ve seen a significant increase in information sharing between countries and agencies but we need to go further.
“The threat has been at the highest level for some time and it’s highly complex in nature.
“We’re dealing with a very diffused community of thousands of radicalised individuals out of which anyone can become a potential terrorist at short notice.”