After the Brexit, who will lose in terms of security, Britain, or the European Union?
Britain’s exit from the European Union has become inevitable, and the door is open to the UK’s exit from the European Union on January 31, after British MPs gave initial support to the Brexit Agreement with 358 members and 234 opposition, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached with Brussels.
With security alerts in the face of terrorist crises around the world, it is not possible to think of any state's desire to exit any security or intelligence agreement that could provide it with information about terrorist operations and fighters in extremist organizations, especially if these agreements are with important institutions like Europol, This puts Britain and the European Union in an evident crisis in front of this obstacle!
Boris Johnson .. the man of the stage and the godfather of Brexit
Boris Johnson, the leader of the British Conservative Party, won an absolute majority in the country's parliament during the general elections, and his party achieved a landslide victory over its rivals, by winning 365 seats in the House of Commons out of 650, which allowed him to form a majority government and ensure support for any decision approved by his government to leave the European Union with or without an agreement!
In the agreement, which reached 535 pages, the dispute took place in negotiations on political and economic issues, such as the customs crisis in the province of Northern Ireland, and commitments to the multi-year budget, which was approved by Britain with the European Union in 2014 and will continue until 2020.
However, this agreement did not include any details about the security aspects, especially concerning European cooperation on countering terrorist organizations around the world, such as ISIS, which the European Union countries participated in confronting within the international coalition forces led by the United States of America.
Nevertheless, this agreement will soon come to light, especially after MPs voted on it so that the UK could leave the European Union on January 31, 2020, after 47 years of turbulent partnership.
The European Union is characterized by active collaboration and coordination among member states to confront the threats of terrorism, whether internal or external, at the intelligence and military levels; Where information about terrorist elements and organizations is readily exchanged between the countries of the Union, security strikes are carried out inside the borders, and military attacks are carried out in the strongholds of these terrorist groups outside the border.
This cooperation can be inferred from various positions, such as the adherence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the implementation of Article Five of the Washington Treaty, which relates to collective defense, after less than 24 hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the deployment of AWACS aircraft as part of the Eagle operation launched by the government. The United States of America at the time also deployed naval forces in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, October 6, 2001.
In 2004, National Army weapon managers in NATO member states launched a project known as the "Action Program to Counter-Terrorism," and the program aims to collaborate in modern technologies for countering terrorist operations, such as combating car bombs, reducing aircraft vulnerabilities in the face of air defense missiles Portable, and protecting ships against speedboats carrying explosives.
The matter developed at the Riga Summit, November 2006, which focused on unifying politics related to the threats of terrorist organizations and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as affirming the collective defense process of member states.
The situation continued until the current period, as demonstrated by the NATO Summit in London, December 2019, that the coalition countries will continue to show solidarity and unity, with a clear view of the future, and plans to protect all members.
In addition to the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, held in Vienna, December 2019, attended by 57 member states of the organization, which discussed mechanisms to address terrorist attacks through its counter-terrorism unit.
Britain and the fate of the agreements concluded with the European partner
The European Union has many special security agreements to counter-terrorist organizations, which are always resorted to under the increase in terrorist threats to the European continent.
Britain is an active part of these agreements, as it is among the three who use the data of the Europol Organization the most, especially in preserving security in Europe by providing information in the areas of combating major international crimes and terrorism and working to exchange it between member states.
London provides European countries with valuable information obtained through the "Five Eyes" agreement, which includes the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, and aims to exchange intelligence.
The Brexit Agreement did not clarify what will be the future security and intelligence relationship between the parties. Still, we can infer it with several points, the most prominent of which are:
1- The Conservative Party:
Boris Johnson, the Tories leader, is a member of the British Rightwing Movement, which opposes the defense and security pledges that have been in place between European Union countries for years, even those related to terrorist organizations.
The right-wing indicates that European defense initiatives weaken NATO's strength and aim to build a united European state, and this is what Johnson and his party are opposing. They also believe that the issues of security, defense, and NATO intervention abroad to confront extremist organizations have harmed the European economy.
This was confirmed by the former leader of the Conservative Party, Theresa May, who indicated that in the event of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, this would weaken cooperation in combating crime and terrorism, according to her office managers Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill.
With the controversy raised about these points, May indicated that the United Kingdom does not want to back down in matters of joint defense against all dangers, including terrorism, and considered it an unconditional issue, but the British extreme right believes that the internal defense process for England is not negotiable with the countries of the Union European.
Johnson fears that British spending on European defense matters could affect the economy, especially in the post-Brexit period.
The Conservative Party believes that an agreement with the United States of America can contribute to increasing its security force and exchanging information about various risks, including terrorist aspects, as indicated by the Government Information Office in London, in a report issued in November 2017.
2- Opposing opinions
Despite the main decision of the Conservative Party in the field of defense, the research papers are against this trend, as a published research issued by the British government, November 28, 2018, in Forbes newspaper, indicated that Britain may face security crises if it leaves without an agreement with the European Union, Noting that any cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the field of defense could stop, and thus Britain would be unable to use the tools and mechanisms provided by European agreements, such as tracking the data and information of terrorist elements.
The report added that if Britain uses alternative mechanisms to obtain information about terrorist operations, it will not provide it with the same efficiency as previous mechanisms.
David Galbraith, lecturer in International Security at Bath University, believes that the European Union and the United Kingdom should not put security cooperation as part of their negotiations, as each of them will lose if intelligence cooperation stops or reaches a minimum, especially since London is a link Between America and Europe in this area.
3- Europol organization
Europol, the European Police Office, is one of the most prominent European organizations in the field of maintaining security within the European Union and works to coordinate and provide logistical and information support in the area of countering international and terrorist crimes affecting the European Union.
It can be considered that the organization is at the heart of the Brexit agreement, as neither side wants to risk its relationship with the other, so there is a lot of talk about London's relationship with the European Organization in the event of a Brexit agreement.
In his speech before the House of Commons Internal Affairs Committee, March 2017, European Police Chief Rob Wainwright stated that there is a desire within the European police services not to lose British intelligence expertise.
Returning to the official website of the organization, we find that non-member countries can benefit from the services of the organization, as the site indicates a decision by the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs on March 27, 2000, and amended on December 6, 2001, which gives the organization's officials the right to enter into negotiations with countries from outside the Union and cooperating with it.
The site indicates that there are two types of agreements allowed, the first relates to the exchange of technical information, that is, not associated with specific persons, and the second is related to the transfer of personal data about specific individuals or entities, the nature of their movements and intelligence information about them.