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Volume 660: debated on Thursday 16 May 2019

15. What recent assessment he has made of the merits of continued co-operation with the EU on security after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement. (910934)

Last week, I was in Sibiu, where I made clear that we face common and evolving threats to European security. Those threats demand close co-operation and the UK has a leading role to play in that.

My right hon. Friend will know that the Bundesnachrichtendienst has already made it absolutely clear that the United Kingdom is one of the biggest intelligence services in the world and a member of Five Eyes and that Europe is dependent on the United Kingdom for intelligence. We also wish to co-operate with them. Does that not make complete nonsense of what some Opposition Members say—that if we left the EU, without a deal or otherwise, the EU would not continue to co-operate with us for its own benefit?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that there is a shared interest between the UK and the European Union in close collaboration on security. He is right that the UK is the only European member of the Five Eyes intelligence network and that we are the only EU country that contributes both the NATO 2% and the overseas aid 0.7% commitments. It is in both sides’ interests to work closely on our shared challenges, because many of those challenges lie beyond Europe.