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Tough negotiations

Richard Dearlove (“Brexit would not damage UK security,” April) argues that the security cost to the UK of Brexit would be low. He is right to argue it is in the national interest of both parties that the UK’s intelligence relationship with the US continue unaffected by Brexit, and that the same logic would apply to cooperation between UK and continental intelligence services.

But intelligence is not the whole story. What have we just witnessed in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels? Massive European cross-border police operations to follow up intelligence leads resulting in the arrest of key terrorists and the cracking of networks. Dearlove allows that Europol is useful but otherwise does not mention police cooperation, which would not occur without EU agreements. He ignores such vital tools as the Schengen information system, which gives UK police instant access to a shared database. And he is wrong to disparage the European Arrest Warrant, which enables the early return to UK jurisdiction of wanted suspects, including terrorists. In my view, the cost to the UK of having to negotiate access to these security arrangements could be quite high. And if you don’t believe me, ask the Home Secretary.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s May issue: Simon Taylor and Bronwen Maddox on why Hinkley Point C is an expensive gamble that might not pay off. Philip Collins examines Iain Duncan Smith’s tenure as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Lionel Shriver reveals why she stopped fighting being female. Alan Rusbridger responds to last month’s piece on the Guardian by Stephen Glover. Also in this issue: Nicholas Soames says there’s no such thing as "Project Fear” and Howard Davies reviews Melvyn King’s new book and suggests that we are vulnerable to another financial crisis. Plus Ruth Dudley Edwards examines the fading myths of the Easter Rising and Owen Hatherley suggests it’s time to look for a Plan B to solve London’s housing issues.