Letter to the editor of The Times, published 24 August 2017. © Richard Kemp
The leaked Home Office report (Aug 23) warning of an increased terrorist risk to the UK after Brexit is pure fiction. The opposite is true: Britain will be safer after Brexit.
No longer will we have to allow known terrorist suspects who are EU citizens to enter the UK as we do now. We should not forget that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian ringleader of the November 2015 Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed, travelled freely to Britain beforehand despite being known to be involved in extremism. Such is the EU’s security regime that he boasted in Islamic State propaganda of being able to travel unnoticed into and around Europe.
The report says that security co-operation would be ‘less effective or slower’ once Britain left the EU. Why should it be? The UK has the most effective counter-terrorism operational capability in Europe with the most extensive liaison relationships in countries from where the greatest Islamic terrorist threats emanate.
Our intelligence services have prevented numerous terrorist attacks in the UK and elsewhere in the EU in recent years. In the fight against terrorism the EU needs us far more than we need them.
Colonel Richard Kemp
Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan
Image: Abdelhamid Abaaoud