The UK government is hoping to create a new security partnership with the EU after Brexit "to fight our shared threats from terrorism and organised crime," it has revealed today.
In its latest position paper, the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) said it will seek a new treaty between the two sides, but stressed that in moving to any new agreement "it will be important to ensure that there are no operational gaps created by the transition from one set of arrangements to another".
The position paper, published today, outlines the need to build upon existing cooperation on security, law enforcement and criminal justice.
"Leaving the EU will change the nature of that cooperation, but it will do little to change the threats we all face or reduce the value of the UK as a security partner," the paper said.
Coming just days after another terror attack rocked London, the paper outlined three priorities: protecting the safety and security of citizens and upholding justice in the UK and across the EU; maintaining the closest and most cooperative partnerships between Britain and the 27 EU member states; and continuing to cooperate on the basis of shared democratic values and respect for the rule of law.
"Britain will remain committed to the security of the European continent after Brexit, and our determination to protect the safety and security of EU citizens as well as UK citizens will not diminish," the paper said.
Brexit secretary David Davis said: "With the shared threats facing us evolving faster than ever before, It’s vital that the UK and EU maintain and strengthen the close security collaboration we currently have.
"Together with the EU we have developed some of the world’s most sophisticated systems in the fight against crime — because cross-border cooperation is absolutely crucial if we’re to keep our citizens safe and bring criminals to justice.
"That is why we want to build a new partnership with the EU that goes beyond any existing relationship it has with non-member states, so we can continue countering these cross-border threats together."
Home secretary Amber Rudd added: "The recent terror attacks in London, Manchester and across other parts Europe have been stark reminders of the shared and evolving threat the UK and our EU partners face. That is why it is crucial — for the security of the UKa and the continent — that we continue and enhance our cooperation after we leave the EU.
"This position paper is the first step towards reaching an agreement to ensure we continue to protect millions of people across Europe."