The UK will no longer be a member of the European police agency Europol after it leaves the European Union, the European Commission’s chief negotiator has said.
The UK government has said it wants to stay in the European police agency and keep its benefits such as the European Arrest Warrant and shared criminal database.
Speaking at a security conference in Berlin, Michael Barnier accused the UK of abandoning the defence of Europe at a time when it should be standing “shoulder to shoulder” with its neighbours in the EU.
But outlining the consequences of Brexit on defence and security, Barnier said Britain would no longer be a member, adding that the UK would be leaving the European Defence Agency and that UK defence ministers and ambassadors would be excluded from international meetings with EU colleagues.
Adding that these changes were all a “logical consequence of the sovereign choice made by the British” in the referendum last year.
“More than 500 days ago, the United Kingdom took the sovereign decision to leave the European Union and bring to an end 44-years of common history.” he said.
“It was a decision that came after a series of attacks on European soil, committed by young people who grew up in Europe, in our countries. It was a decision that came six months after the French Minister of Defence issued a call for solidarity to all his European counterparts to join forces to fight the terrorism of Daesh.”
In September Theresa May vowed “unconditional” support for EU defence after Brexit and said the UK’s role “has never been more vital”.
In the same month Home Secretary Amber Rudd also said she hoped a “new legal framework” could “lock in” British access to Europol, which shares criminal intelligence data between EU police forces.