German minister: Brussels’ Brexit rigidity will put lives at risk

German Interior Minister calls for a ‘full security partnership with the UK’ post-Brexit.

Brussels’ tough stance on a post-Brexit security partnership with the U.K. is putting citizens’ lives at risk, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned in a letter sent to the European Commission.

“Ensuring the security of citizens in Europe should take precedence over all aspects of exit negotiations,” Seehofer wrote, according to a Financial Times reportpublished Thursday.

The letter, which is dated June 27, deviates from the position of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has prioritized EU unity over a deal with the U.K. According to the FT, Seehofer’s missive was not coordinated with the chancellory.

The letter warns against a “weakening of the European security architecture,” and makes the case for Britain’s continued access to EU security databases such as the Schengen Information System for border control and passenger name records for flights, as well as Europol and European Criminal Record System databases.

“The ever present threat of cross-border terrorism shows the need for unlimited cooperation in [the] future,” Seehofer wrote in the letter.

“It is obvious that the U.K. will no longer be a member of the [EU] after its withdrawal, but that must not lead to less security for our citizens,” Seehofer said, calling for a “full security partnership with the U.K.”

Seehofer’s letter echoes previous statements from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May as well as calls from British officials for the EU to drop its legalistic approach to the negotiations on security. It also follows an announcement that Britain would lose access to the EU’s Galileo system after Brexit.

SOURCE: Politico.eu

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