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Political Declaration: Security

Volume 660: debated on Thursday 16 May 2019

9. Whether the Government have made a recent assessment of the adequacy of the security commitments provided for in the political declaration. (910925)

In November 2018, the Government published an assessment of the future security partnership as set out in the political declaration. The political declaration itself recognises the shared threats faced by the UK and the European Union and provides a framework to safeguard our security. That framework, as the hon. Lady will know, covers law enforcement, judicial co-operation in criminal matters, foreign policy, and security and defence co-operation in areas where we hope to have mutual co-operation.

Protecting our national security from organised crime and terrorism is of course the first duty of any Government. My constituents want to know that we will still be able to participate in the European arrest warrant and share criminal record checks if or when we leave the EU, so what further progress has been made on what was put into the political declaration so many months ago?

The hon. Lady will appreciate that those matters are for the second phase of the discussions between us and the EU. To get to that second stage, I sincerely recommend that she support the withdrawal agreement. That is the only mechanism by which we will get to phase 2 of the negotiations, where we can discuss some of these matters, which are critically important to her constituents and to the country.