Sajid Javid today refused to reject claims Britain will be less safe if it quits the EU without a Brexit deal.
The Home Secretary was asked repeatedly whether a no-deal departure would put the UK at risk, but would only say it would “continue to be one of the safest countries in the world”.
Appearing on the BBC, the home secretary was faced with comments from the former national security adviser Lord Rickets, who has previously said a no-deal Brexit would be a “really serious and immediate problem for British national security”.
Responding to the remarks, Mr Javid admitted it is “absolutely true” that “certain capabilities” will change under a disorderly exit from the bloc.
He added: “Databases, arrest warrant, others that will change. Of course that will change. And keeping that in mind, we have been working on meeting it, and I’m not pretending for a second, through Interpol or through the Council of Europe on extradition, you can have like-for like-capability. So there will be a change in capability.”
Asked whether the country would be “less safe”, Mr Javid noted that most of the mechanisms applied to the UK from 2015, but continued: “I’m absolutely certain as home secretary, this is my most important job, is to do everything I can to keep this country safe.
“I’m absolutely confident that we will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world, even in a no-deal scenario.”
Responding to Mr Javid’s remarks, the Labour MP David Lammy said: “If we crash with no deal, we will fall out of the EU’s crime-fighting agencies, be denied access to shared criminal records databases, and lose our right to use the European Arrest Warrant.
“You are playing with fire and it is the British public who will get burnt.”
Another Labour MP, Stephen Doughty, a supporter of the pro-EU group Best for Britain and a member of parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, also claimed: “The home secretary is now admitting what senior police chiefs and MPs have been warning for months – Brexit means less security at our borders not more – and no deal would leave this country even less safe.
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