Brussels has dismissed a number of UK proposals in order to strike the “closest possible” defence post-Brexit pact. The European Council has previously outlined a commitment to “establish a partnership in the field of fight against terrorism and international crime.”
Brussels has proposed that to protect “fundamental rights” Britain will have to remain party to the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Commission has demanded a “guillotine clause” which would nullify the agreement if Britain leaves the European Court of Human Rights.
The “guillotine clause” has been described by Brussels as a necessary safeguard for the EU in the document to ensure Britain maintains similar human rights laws as the EU after Brexit.
The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) is a charter policed by the European Court of Human Rights, which is not an EU institution but part of the older 47 member state Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
As Home Secretary Theresa May clashed with the ECHR, which prohibits torture and slavery while guaranteeing the right to a free trial and protests. She accused the court of frustrating her plans to deport hate preacher Abu Qatada.
Her Conservative Party manifesto ruled out repealing Britain’s membership of the ECHR “while the Brexit process is underway” but said the UK’s “human rights legal framework” would be considered afterwards.
Should Britain leave the Convention and its court or if the court condemns it for not observing one of its judgments in a relevant area, Brussels would automatically rescind the security partnership, according to slides that were published on Monday and presented to 27 EU diplomats.
Britain has called for close cooperation on security after Brexit, including retaining its participation in schemes such as the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) extradition system and intelligence sharing.
British officials said that for every criminal extradited to Britain under the EAW, eight suspects were transferred from the UK to an EU member state .
More than 10,000 individuals have been extradited to face justice in the EU since 2004, they said, and last year Britain gave 6,000 pieces of intelligence to Europol Organised Crime projects, more than any other EU country.
Yet this is just another example of how the EU is determined to punish the UK for Brexit. The UK is a global strategic power and the EU must remember that throughout these negotiations. The UK is not asking for anything more than to cooperate with their neighbours, with whom they have had a strategic relationship with for decades.
The UK, as one of the only EU countries that spends 2% of its GDP on defence, is better placed than most EU countries on intelligence sharing and counter terrorism. The EU must consider this and the safety of its own citizens, rather than playing politics with a country that it needs.