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UK will be 'cut off' from 'full intelligence picture' after Brexit - Europol strategy man

(19 Posts)
LurkingHusband Wed 07-Sep-16 15:40:41


The UK will “certainly be cut off from the full intelligence picture” after Brexit, Europol's acting head of strategy for cybercrime warned The Register. This comes after UK law enforcement agencies from the National Crime Agency to Police Scotland have been meeting with Europol in an attempt to mitigate this.

Phillipp Amann, a senior strategic analyst of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, and currently its acting head of strategy, warned that the UK was facing severe limitations in its ability to collaborate with the continent on security matters after it leaves the EU.

Amann told The Register that the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland had been in discussions with Europol regarding maintaining access to the EU-wide intelligence sharing platforms following Britain's departure from the politico-economic union.

The UK currently chairs the European Cybercrime Task Force (EUCTF), which harmonises the trans-jurisdictional fight against cybercrime. Not only would this be impossible once the UK has left the EU, but access to security databases such as the Europol Information System would be withdrawn following Brexit.

“They would certainly be cut off,” Amann said of the UK. “They wouldn't have access to the full intelligence picture. You won't have the same visibility that you would have as a full EU member.”

Amann, an Austrian national who speaks English with a gentle Irish inflection, said he did not think Brexit would create weaknesses for either the EU or the UK when it came to dealing with cybersecurity, but said it would become “more complex to achieve the same that they can achieve now".

“If you're part of the EU you have full access to all of the information systems we have. If you are a non-EU member but we have an operational agreement then we can still share operational data,” Amann explained, “but you won't have access to certain systems and also you certainly wouldn't have access and you wouldn't be part of any governance group that would decide on the priorities.”

Europol has had “a number of meetings” – which Amann thinks is a “really good sign” – with British law enforcement, including the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland, to explore what the opportunities are for continued information sharing in the future: “I get the sense that they're very much aware of what's likely going to happen and what I think is really promising is that they're already starting to look at mitigation strategies and really explore what we can do and what the potential consequences are.”

Although no full assessment has been made of those consequences, Amann said all the actors involved are trying to get as much information as possible about those potential consequences


ReallyTired Wed 07-Sep-16 15:52:27

Given that a lot of terrorists are uk homegrown it would be a bit silly for European countries to withhold information from us or vice a versa. British intellegence of terrorists in Luton might save lives in Brussels.

Maybe a re organisation of international policing systems needs to be looked at that can include non EU countries like Turkey or Russia or the USA. Prehaps membership of Europol should not be restricted to EU members. There would be need to be subscription for non EU members.

Peregrina Wed 07-Sep-16 19:51:17

So we would end up paying for access to this that and the other body without having a say in how the policies were formulated?

So twenty years down the line, we find we are much worse off, but still paying out the equivalent of our contributions to the EU. The younger generation will think what fools their elders were.

scaryteacher Sun 09-Oct-16 14:17:05

This is rot. The Europeans rely on us for an awful lot of intelligence, as we are the only EU member of the Five Eyes. The EU has presumably worked out that they will no longer get that intelligence if they play silly huggers with us then?

scaryteacher Sun 09-Oct-16 14:17:34

That was supposed to be buggers not huggers.

Lindy2 Sun 09-Oct-16 14:25:50

Anti terrorism and crime intelligence should be global. The EU should be nothing to do with it.
If EU countries are prepared to put their citizens at risk because they want to restrict who they co operate with them to me that shows what an absolutely ridiculous organisation the EU has become.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 09-Oct-16 14:29:01

Nonsense. What Scaryteacher says is correct.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 09-Oct-16 14:32:26

And we'll still be members of NATO, which works with the EU on security issues, to some extent.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 09-Oct-16 14:32:30

I'm a Remainer but I'm really pissed off with all EU throwing the toys out of the pram mentality.

This isn't helping anyone.

OdinsLoveChild Sun 09-Oct-16 14:32:58

Im sure it goes both ways hmm If they want to restrict our access to intelligence we may well restrict their access to our intelligence too.

I wish they'd stop all this pathetic tit for tat crap. This is precisely why people were sick and tired of the EU. angry

meditrina Sun 09-Oct-16 14:33:22

This is almost wholly irrelevant, as if is not a unique forum.

Police matters go through Europol.

Intelligence and security matters go through entirely separate channels (and do include cyber threats to critical national infrastructure).

It's scaremongering, possibly because nascent organisation has realised it can no longer hide that it's duplicative, and about to be utterly side-lined.

meditrina Sun 09-Oct-16 14:36:18

"Police matters go through Europol"

Oops - serious foot in mouth moment.

I meant to say "Police matters go through Interpol"


And scaryteacher is right about the dominance of 5 Eyes - though UK could not share any material in that community with EU unless originator/controller consented. Which they would be much more likely to do via NATO.

CorkieD Sun 09-Oct-16 14:40:49

Yes, intelligence can be shared globally. But is sharing all intelligence with Russia, China or North Korea necessarily a good idea? Where do the EU draw the line?

Obviously, for the EU, that will be within the region it has governance and control and that won't include the UK within a year.

Referring to this as 'silly buggers' is a childish reaction.

meditrina Sun 09-Oct-16 14:49:38

"Obviously, for the EU, that will be within the region it has governance and control and that won't include the UK within a year."

That's not how it works. Whoever originates the intelligence can give it to whoever they like. It does not mean it has all to be shared with every partner in EU, or every organisation within EU.

Will the French (a fellow P5 country and NATO member) really stop intelligence sharing with UK? Will they refuse to play by Interpol rules? Of course not, and the demise of this (pretty tangential) organisation is not going to make any difference whatsoever to substance.

alltouchedout Sun 09-Oct-16 15:02:44

Why is this coming as such a surprise? Did people honestly think when they were told pre referendum that if you vote to leave, you won't get to pick and choose what you can take with you, that it was all bullshit? Thinking that having decided to leave the EU that we should still be able to enjoy the benefits of being part of the EU is ridiculous.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 09-Oct-16 15:06:41

I think the French and other Europeans stand to lose more than the UK regarding information and intelligence sharing. Meditrina is right.

TrojanWhore Sun 09-Oct-16 15:09:23

There is no particular benefit to membership of this forum, for as long as all the other organisations that do exactly the same continue to exist.

Corcory Sun 09-Oct-16 15:32:48

We have much more to offer than they do so why on earth would they want to exclude us? As said up thread we are the only EU member of 5 eyes.

CorkieD Sun 09-Oct-16 16:30:07

We don't have more to offer in the area of intelligence. It's delusional to suggest we do. It may very well be in both sides best interest to continue as is. Either way, the extent of our exclusion is entirely up to them. The UK's hands are tied.

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