Priti Patel has sparred with a Sky News presenter after he suggested Britain could be “less safe” after Brexit.
The home secretary threw aside claims Britain’s security and intelligence operations would be jeopardised by a no-deal Brexit.
She appeared on Sky News to assuage concerns.
Presenter Niall Paterson asked: “As things stand we do not have the new security deal yet, do we?
“So Lord Ricketts said in his assessment that we will all be less safe without it.”
Patel erupted: “That is not true at all. Britain is a safe country, we will always be a safe country.
“We have maintained that throughout the last four years through all the EU negotiations.
“When you look at our security and intelligence tools we are world-class.
“We are the best in the world.”
She went on to say Britain has developed new intelligence infrastructure before calling the claims “just wrong”.
But Britain’s former security commissioner to the EU disagrees and warned that in security terms “the difference between a deal and no deal is significant”.
Sir Julian King said Britain’s intelligence agencies may be forced to delete troves of data it uses to tackle crime and terrorism cases in the event of a no-deal.
King said: “UK [intelligence] data that was held in EU systems could – indeed would – be deleted, if there was no data adequacy arrangement covering how you share data.”
He said the UK would then be cut off from a range of databases such as the European Criminal Records Information Services, which shares data about prior convictions across all EU countries.
Barbara Walton tweeted: “So, according to Priti Patel, UK has world-beating security too. Wonder if it is more or less world-beating than the total failure of world-beating test and trace?”
So, according to Priti Patel, UK has world-beating security too. Wonder if it is more or less world-beating than the total failure of world-beating test and trace? https://t.co/adIoMQUdxq
— Barbara Walton #FBPE (@LesTroisChenes) December 17, 2020
Les Jones added: “UK’s anti terrorist chief, already said that UK will be less safe. #Patel, typical #brexiteer, lives in a world of delusion & lies, & UK is ripped apart.”