Hung parliament: Have Cameron and May s calamitous gambles imperilled UK border security?

Brexit fallout Cameron gambled, lost. May gambled, lost. Tory party beginning to look like a casino.

Tweeted by Dutch MEP Sophie in t Veld this is a pithily apt description of the Conservatives two big calls over Brexit. If David Cameron s fateful decision to announce a referendum on January 2013 has achieved one of its primary goals to siphon off support from UKIP then it did so, quite unexpectedly, at the expense of his own premiership. Having embraced the referendum result despite being (an admittedly coy) Remainer his successor, Theresa May, then used Brexit as a pretext to strengthen her majority in the House of Commons against what the commentariat had deemed the least electable Labour leader since Michael Foot. Now we have a hung parliament with a minority Conservative government propped up by 10 DUP MPs. Whatever your political leanings, few would disagree that the prospect of concluding negotiations smoothly have now receded. Whatever your political leanings, few would disagree that the prospect of concluding negotiations smoothly have now receded. We re already nearly three months into the already narrow two-year negotiating window, the Article 50 having been triggered on 29 March. As the FT writes this morning: Theresa May s folly in calling a general election and then losing her overall majority means that the UK is now in an even weaker negotiating position than when it started There are few words to describe the sheer irresponsibility of the prime minister in triggering Article 50 only to follow it by calling a needless general election. A hung parliament, or even an overall defeat, was always a foreseeable (as opposed to predicted) potential outcome.

It was the last thing a prudent politician should have done: there is now considerable uncertainty at the very point the UK needed certainty, as the Brexit talks are about to commence. Nick Clegg, who lost his Sheffield Hallam seat, has said that MPs will either need to find a cross-party consensus on a more moderate workable approach to Brexit or we will have to go back to the country maybe once or twice until one party wins a majority, which would devour much of the two-year negotiating window. It is impossible to exaggerate this morning how self-absorbed and adrift the UK looks to the rest of Europe I can t think of any example of a modern mature democracy putting itself in such a vulnerable position. Confusion at UK borders And if negotiations do fail, what does that mean for national security? The UK s trade tariff levels with Europe and the rest of the world would default to World Trade Organisation terms, triggering a rise in the price of imports, with agricultural goods being an eye-watering 30-40%. But with the UK Lacking its own schedule at the WTO, there could be confusion at UK borders over customs declarations. This is an issue explored in depth in a white paper published on IFSEC Global this week. The cost of replicating the European Arrest Warrant outside the EU is expected to substantially exceed (by a factor of four) the cost of operating the EU measure. Norway and Iceland have been trying to negotiate a form of EAW with the EU but this has taken 15 years and is still to be ratified by every member state.

From the London First report on Brexit and border security Commissioned by London First s Security & Resilience Network, the report examines the implications of leaving the EU for the management of the UK s borders. From Europol membership to the Schengen Information System, the UK is at risk of losing access to a plethora of collaborative tools, the report reveals. Securing UK borders: An examination of the implications of leaving the EU for UK border management , which is written by several experts in immigration and border security, European law, and security and resilience, also warns of: Confusion at the UK border as customs declarations slow down traffic. The Road Haulage Association has said there is a real danger of everything grinding to a halt Complexities of new visa arrangements: Questions must arise about the ability of Border Force to deal with the increased workload as well as the physical capacity of receiving airports and other points of entry Brexit could represent an opportunity to modernise current practice and technology and adopt best practices from elsewhere in the world to improve both border security and customer experience ahead of, or at, the border. A decade after New Labour s attempts to introduce identity cards were shelved the concept could reemerge. The need to reframe collaboration with the EU over information sharing as Britain exits Europol and loses access to Eurojust, SIS II, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), the Pr m Decisions and the Passenger Name Records (PNR) The white paper follows an earlier report by the Security & Resilience Network that examined the Security and Resilience Implications of Brexit. The report was launched at a London First briefing on 7 June 2017 and distributed at the IFSEC International 2017 exhibition (20-22 June 2017), which includes for the first time the Borders and Infrastructure Expo. UBM, the organiser of IFSEC, sponsors this report. Get your free badge for IFSEC now.

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