A European Referendum special with Evan Davis. Will leaving the union make Britain's defences more or less secure?
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They say the first job of the state, is to keep us secure.
Does the EU help, or does it just get in the way?
Welcome to this Newsnight referendum special, with a studio of undecided
and whether we'd get more or less of it, by leaving.
We'll look at the big picture of European defence.
What insiders will tell you is they are concerned
if the British voice was no longer at the table, at those European
summits and other meetings, the others would be more likely
As one Frenchman put it to me, "Without Britain, we are
And will our borders be more secure if we leave the EU?
Would we just lose vital intelligence without
The referendum campaign may have been dominated by the economy last
week, but thanks to Theresa May, national security has
The Home Secretary, a reluctant supporter of EU membership
made her first big intervention today, telling us why
she thinks we are more secure in the EU, than out.
Our response to Paris and Brussels cannot be to say we should have less
corporation with countries that are not only our allies but our nearest
neighbours. And anyway, leaving the EU would not mean we could just
close ourselves off to the world. The September the 11th attacks in
New York were planned in Afghanistan. The July the 7th
attackers trained in Pakistan. So my judgment as Home Secretary is that
remaining a member of the EU means we would be more secure from crime
and terrorism. But she also said some other pretty
interesting things - We'd do better to leave
the European Convention on Human Rights than
the EU, she said. And she also suggested
she didn't want more poor, corrupt countries to join the EU,
like Turkey and Albania. She didn't put it quite as brutally
as "poor and corrupt", She was counter to government
policy on those issues, but she's meant to be
supporting government policy. At heart though, we have a simple
question this evening - is the EU aiding our
security? We will delve into that -
with a panel of experts here. And to start, let's talk briefly
to one politician on Theresa Alan Johnson, former Labour home
secretary is supporting the Remain Penny Mordaunt is the armed forces
minister and is on the Leave side of the argument,
she has been held up at a parliamentary vote tonight
and will be joining us shortly. Theresa May was against the European
human rights Convention. But against the EU? As predecessor as Home
Secretary, she takes the same view as me that we are more secure in the
EU. She has just concluded a negotiation that began when I was
Home Secretary. Abdul Matt Taylor put into Detroit airport with
Semtex. And there was an issue about the names of passengers being
recorded across states. She has just concluded this passenger name record
in directive which is important because we can exchange that
information across all member states. She also got a couple of
things out of the Prime Minister negotiations which help with
security. It is strange that she is against government policy. What
about new members, are you in favour of new members of the EU, Turkey or
Albania? Many arguments about security are that we will have these
countries. Of course we have a veto, it has to be every country. Should
we use that veto? It depends, there is a big human rights issue in
Turkey and they cannot meet Article six of the European Union,
democracy, free speech and the rule of law. But if they pass that M I
think the general principle of spreading the principles of the EU,
the principles we believe in, are important. We did that to countries
under the totalitarian rule of the Soviet union. And those under
military rule and it has been good for those countries and good for
Europe. That would mean that the EU basically has a border with Syria.
It will be a long time before it becomes an issue and Britain has a
veto. And tonight we're also joined
by our panel of undecided voters, Perhaps you have made
up your minds by now? On security, any points any of you
are listening out for in the debate tonight? Looking basically for 1.1
million, Syrian refugees, being taken in Germany. They will
eventually be getting a European passport and they are then free to
go all over Europe and the UK. That is no issue for me however, if there
are some elements of security and a certain number of people who are not
genuine asylum seekers and they have passed through, what kind of
controls do we have over that and how do we guard against terrorism?
Hold that thought. Any other worries or boards about security, how many
of you would say security is at their book the economy in terms of
how important your decision is best amok and how many of you would say
that security is more important than sovereignty? Security clearly
something of an issue. And lastly, quite a lot of this is going to be
about Nato and events. Which dashed defence. Which is more important,
the Nato aspect of security or street security, terrorism, how many
of you would say you are worried about armed forces and the defence
of the realm and all of that? And how many would say it is more about
terrorism and safety on the streets. OK, that is what I'm getting. How
strong will our borders continue to be whether we stay or leave? We will
come to all of that in the second half of the programme.
There is a live blog up and running, packed with extra thoughts
and facts, you can find it at bbc.co.uk/newsnight.
For as long as countries have existed, they've always known that
for their security they need to do deals and make alliances.
And right now, no-one is arguing for Britain to go
The Brexit debate is about how we precisely configure our
international alliances, and in particular whether the EU
is irrelevant to our main defence group, Nato.
Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban has been looking at how Brexit
would affect defence and other aspects of our security.
In Paris, they know Anglo-French relations have had their ups
But at the Jena Bridge, built by Napoleon to mark his defeat
of the Prussians, something happened when the tables were turned
A British general showed the way to a new relationship.
The Duke of Wellington discovered that his Prussian allies
were about to come down here and blow the bridge up.
They regarded it as a sign of their humiliation.
the Duke posted British soldiers at both ends of the bridge
to stop them doing it, and saved the bridge
And since the final fall of Napoleon, it has been the same
story time and again - of Britain backing the French up,
often against the Germans, in one international crisis
And that is why security and military people,
particularly in Paris, express their alarm
But if defence and security cooperation really takes place
in Nato or through bilateral ties, why should leaving the EU have any
The Brexit vote will be a lose-lose proposition.
There will be less Great Britain in the world, and as a result
of British departure, there will be less
Even if you are no longer what you used to be, exactly,
I mean, the two countries, France and Great Britain,
still claiming the title of being the Deputy Sheriff
We can't ask that from the Germans, the Italian,
These days, when French soldiers storm the south of England,
The current Griffin Strike exercises involve thousands
It is part of an extensive cooperation between the two
countries in Nato, the EU and bilaterally.
A British exit to me is opening the lid of Pandora's Box.
I don't think it is possible to argue that the rest of the union
They will be, but how, in what way, is a far
more difficult, far more difficult question to answer.
The upheaval would not be limited to the United Kingdom.
Or indeed arguably to continental Europe.
The ripples could go wider, it seems to me.
Among senior officers and intelligence bosses on both
sides of the channel, I have found that pro-Brexit views
are in the minority, but Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Noitt
I am very supportive of Nato, as you would expect,
The reality is I didn't see the EU was actually
doing its job properly, pulling its weight.
I suppose the final straw for me, really, was the fact that Juncker
decided he wanted a European army and a European navy.
When actually what they should be doing is putting
Of course, there is a more immediate challenge for Europe.
The spectre of further attacks by the Islamic State group.
Intelligence is critical to preventing that.
And there is a feeling here, too, that key relationships
The essence of intelligence cooperation is, at the end
of the day, what the respective parties are able
And the United Kingdom, I think, still will have significant equities
So that, at the end of the day, is probably going to be the key
thing, in terms of how this collaboration continues.
But when the France-Germany game came under attack
in Paris last November, Europe's intelligence
Much has been happening since to close gaps,
and opponents of Brexit argue Britain could lose out on that work.
What it does lose categorically is the automaticity of access
to the data sets that other European services have, so travel
information, credit card expenditure, mobile phone usage,
and if the United Kingdom was no longer part of the EU,
I assume it would have to renegotiate access
The recent French and Belgium attacks have also caused
the public to make a link between migration and terrorism.
The discovery, first, that one of the suicide bombers
here and then that other members of the Paris plot had come
into Europe through the Greek islands, pretending to be Syrian
refugees on fake passports, and work their way from country
to country across Europe caused the whole nature of
Many in Britain couldn't believe the security shortcomings that had
been shown up by the attacks, but in some other EU countries
they decided to take practical steps to change that state of affairs.
It was Austria in particular that showed a willingness
to push the envelope, in order to regain control
The Austrians took a series of steps.
Firstly, they put this fence on their border with Slovenia -
not the most physically robust of obstacles,
but very politically significant because it cut two Shengen states,
where there is supposed to be free movement of people, from each other.
Then they put a ceiling on the number of asylum seekers
they would accept in Austria this year, that ran counter
to EU and German policy, and then they started organising
the Balkan countries down the refugee stream,
to take their own concerted action to stop the flow
The desire to take control, whatever the European Commission said,
was not accompanied in Vienna by any move to leave the EU.
Austria's display of independent mindedness extended to marshalling
its neighbours, some in the EU, some not,
to stop hundreds of thousands moving across their country.
You know, we still urge for a European solution.
And of course, a European solution is always the better solution.
But there was, at the beginning of this year, a situation
where we thought we cannot wait any longer.
Do you have an idea how many asylum seekers are entering the country,
since the Greek border was closed in Macedonia?
We had 800, 900 asylum seekers in one day.
So what is happening on Austria's border with Slovenia?
At the peak of the migration crisis, 4,000 people a day were passing
It was one of the principle hotspots.
But workers here told us that since early March,
when Macedonia closed its border with Greece as part of that plan
co-ordinated by Austria, nobody has arrived here.
Now, they are starting to dismantle the transit camp.
The transformation is quite remarkable.
And you could argue that the migration crisis shows how
incapable the EU is, and therefore provides another
The actions of a country like Austria in driving a coach
and horses through the EU's asylum rules and the Shengen agreement have
displayed that it can act energetically in its national
interest, and not even think about leaving the EU.
If there are now grounds for hope that Europe can get on top
of the migrant crisis, there are still bigger
And reminders about how past crises were solved.
In a corner of Vienna there is a little relic
of the Soviet Union most people have long forgotten.
This war memorial reminds us that for ten years after the war,
Austria, like Germany, was a divided country,
but the Soviet army left here in return for a treaty signed
by the great powers guaranteeing that Austria would not join Nato,
The Russian foreign minister has flown in to meet his
western opposite number at the Belvedere Palace and sign
By December 31st, all four countries' occupation forces
There can be no doubt in Austrian minds this is a step
Today, as in the 1950s, the Kremlin is very keen to stop
certain countries joining Nato, or even the western family
And of course, it is the smallest states or the weaker ones that find
that type of pressure hardest to resist.
Would Europe be more tempted to adapt an appeasement
Would Europe be more tempted to adopt an appeasement
policy towards Moscow, without Great Britain?
At least, that is probably the thinking of Vladimir Putin
in Moscow, when you see that he wants very much, in a way,
Great Britain to leave the European Union.
But for those who favour Brexit, that is not a decisive argument.
I am not sure Putin would be too worried about it.
He would smile, and I think he would look at what is going on,
but he may be worried that actually this could force the UK to be even
But the UK not being part of the European Union,
doesn't make much difference to whatever his plans may be.
While Britain works out its exit terms, if that is what happen,
The terror threat will remain high in Europe, and Russia assertive.
Britain's allies would rather not be dealing with Brexit as well.
So why has President Obama gone out of his way to make it clear
that he does not wish Britain to leave the European Union?
Well, it is because Washington is of the belief, and I believe
they are right, that they can influence and guide European
security better with their old ally in the union, rather than out of it.
If Nato remains the cornerstone of western security,
why are Britain's closest friends the US and France, so worried
Well, what insiders will tell you is they're concerned that
if the British voice was no longer at the table at those European
summits and other meetings, the others would be more likely
As one Frenchman put it to me, "Without Britain,
Being useful to America, or for that matter France
or Germany, might seem a bit craven to many Britains,
but that, after all, is the basis of alliances,
At the University of Paris Dauphine, there is a reminder those factors
This utterly unremarkable building was, until 1966,
But the whole lot had to go when General de
You might argue the whole saga of General de Gaulle and Nato shows
you can have huge ructions within an international
organisation, throw it out even, and in the end people get
Having done what they did in the 60s, the French spent decades
regretting it, and in fact the best part of 20 years wheedling their way
back in to the military structure of the western alliance.
The unknowable, from Paris to Washington, is whether those ties
of mutual interest would be sufficiently strong for those allies
to make light of the headaches that might well follow Brexit.
Food for thought from Mark Urban there.
Austrian and French food in particular.
You can see that in the Brexit debate over foreign policy
and security, there is a parallel to the discussion we
The central question is, if we leave the EU, do we lose
a good relationship we have, and do we gain a better relationship
with the rest of the world in its place?
On the economy, the idea we'd have new trade relationships
In security, the argument is around Nato and a better
For this few minutes, let's stick on the subject of Nato
We'll come to crime and terror later.
Penny, Armed Forces minute stir has joined us now. Thank you for
hot-footing it from the Commons. Theresa May, she is a voice, often
trusted on security, I think, what was your reaction to her coming out,
so clearly on the security issue, in favour of remaining? Her position is
very difficult, if you look at who is on the Brexit side, it is Armed
Forces ministers the Security Minister, the human rights
minister... Not the defence minister. Not the Security Minister.
No, the Security Minister is... The Home Secretary. It is those people
who don't have those political relationship, and would be causing
embarrassment to support the Brexit campaigner, the people who are
concerned with the operational responsibility of keeping the UK
safe. Theresa May is concerned with that, isn't she. She S who knows
where she will be by the end of week. I think it is incredibly
concerning, we are facing an aggressive Russia with, facing these
increasing terrorist threat, and this is what we should be focussing
on t practical thing, not bureaucracy, not setting up new
committees or agency, the practical things. Let us talk about that. I
wonder what your explanation is that senior Nato people who are not
involved in the EU, the Secretary-General, a strong UK in
Europe is good for our security, good for Nato, a fragmented Europe
is bad for security, bad for Nato. Why do people like him say things
like that. They know the way the world work, I know you have Diss
missed Obama's comment, he doesn't explain Europe. But the
Secretary-General does. There is much we agree on but I would say the
trajectory we are on, and if you look at the state of the EU at the
moment, we have weak and fragmented states, the film you have shown,
shows the rising distrust there is between member state, people are
having to break EU rules, to try and keep their population safe, and what
ultimately, I know we are coming on the terrorism, what ultimately will
keep us safe from Russian aggression is if we have strong prosperous
member states who are able to invest in their defence, and security
apparatus, and that is what will keep Russia at bay. So we don't have
that, we have a growing problem with forced harmonisation. Will all those
thing, I mean I don't want to get back on to the economic debate, but
will all those things make Europe better attacking Russia? Do you
think Brexit will make Europe better attacking Russia? Why does the
Secretary-General think not, that Brexit would make it worse. I could
quote Ben Hodge, he thinks it, Europe will unravel, it will be a
knock on effect, he is worried by that. We have worked very hard to
secure reform, in Europe, and we have failed. Our list, when we went
into the renegotiations has failed and we have weakened our position,
because the Prime Minister has given up our veto, so we are in a weaker
position now, I think that a vote to leave will do two things, by the UK,
taking back control of its law, its border, and its finances we will be
Sayer, we will have the powers we'd toe keep our country safe, but it
will also be a catalyst to reform in Europe. You could see at the end of
those negotiations, other European countries saying actually, thinking
about it we would like some reform. I wonder, is this going to be bad
for President Putin, or good for him. I think the trajectory we are
on is good news for those that wish us harmful we have distrust,
increasing between member state, we have a situation where we are having
a growing migrant crisis, and all the threats that come with that,
what the EU is, is the authority without any responsibility
whatsoever. We have to get, whether it is the economy or whether it is
national security, us to focus back on what member states need, to keep
their citizens safe. In this time of austerity, if we are doing anything
else, it is a waist of resource and energy, that is what we need to
focus on and it is the operational cooperation, the interopera bill we
need to focus on. Let me pick up that point, Alan Johnson, no-one, is
mainstream argument is not suggesting we leave Nato at this
point. Nato provides the security, and so why is it going to make a big
difference, on security, on defence, if we leave? The reason the
Secretary-General of Nato don't want us to leave, the Prime Minister and
the Home Secretary, is because the EU complements what Nato is doing.
It is important, it is one of the two big organisations set up after
the war, three if you count the United Nations to stop war happening
again. What Nato couldn't do, is to do what Cathy Ashton and the
European Union did with Iran, and to seek to negotiate, to start those
negotiations that reduce their nuclear capability. Successfully in
the end. What they couldn't do is convince the rest of the European
Union to introduce sanction against Russia because of what was happening
in Ukraine, but Nato was very keen for that but they know doesn't have
the power, it is about external defence, the two work together. I
didn't hear a single argument from Penny, I understand the arguments
because I hear them all the time about why we should leave because it
better for the economy. I didn't hear how it is better for our
defence, the crucial argument that was made in that film, was not just
for Britain, for our security, and for our defence but what we do to
our neighbours and our continent in walking away. We have the biggest
defence budget. Our expertise is better than other countries as well.
And you know, going off into isolation and saying you get on with
it now, doesn't seem to me to be the way to -- forward.
We're not walking away from Europe. We are focused on building
capability in Europe. That is not what this is about, it is about the
nitty-gritty operational ability to keep us safe. Just one example of
the difference between mission and EU mission, currently we have a good
EU mission in East Africa, billions have been put into it and because
one member state once that money to be spent elsewhere, they have the
power to veto that. All the investment, billions of pounds that
have gone into that, will be wasted if that happens and currently we are
looking at someone from outside the EU putting money into that mission.
So it is not an alliance like Nato. How does that help Nato for the UK
to walk away from the EU, that is what I cannot understand. How does
it improve our defence for the UK to leave the EU. Those networks, the
Secretary General of Nato says it former heads of the armed forces say
that, how would it help us to walk away? I would argue briefly that we
would stop some duplication that goes on in missions. The EU defence
structures, we would lose nothing by walking away from that, there are
open to Nato and non-EU member states. The thing that we would gain
is we would be able to take back control of our own borders. That is
vital. We will come to that. We're also joined tonight
by a panel of experts. On the Leave side, Richard Walton,
who was Counter Terrorism Commander for the Metropolitan
Police until January. a commander of some British
forces in Afghanistan. And for Remain, former director
of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti. And Rob Wainwright who is director
of Europol, the law enforcement Sticking to the bigger defence
picture, Richard Kemp, let me bring you in on entering the point of Alan
Johnson, how do you help Nato by coming out of the EU. You put a huge
weight Nato as the strategic alliance. There is no question in my
mind having been in the British Army and involved not just on the ground
but at higher levels throughout the Cabinet Office, the reality is that
if we left the EU we would undermine the EU ultimate plan forming an EU
army and that is what they're going to be doing. Too many of these
generals, they're looking at fighting in the last war which is
what generals often do. We need to look forward. The EU intends to have
a EU army. The Prime Minister will disagree with that, many will
disagree. There has been some chat about it. Jean-Claude Juncker has
spoken of an army and navy. That would undermine Nato because it
takes away resources from later. Already Barack Obama told us to go
to the back of the queue and he was also today attacking the EU for not
putting enough money into defence and he is right. We have a veto and
we would clearly be able to veto being involved in an EU army. Having
a referendum because the EU has gone far than people in the UK ever
expected. And how much further would it go in the future. The EU project
is about building a superstate and no doubt we would get drawn into
that. If the Alan Johnson party comes into power would a beta of
these things! It was a close run thing whether we went into the
Europe and we could get sucked into something like that. This is not an
argument that we would improve our defence by leaving Europe as I
understand it, it is a fantasy argument about something that might
happen in the future, that we leave Europe now because something might
happen in the future that we have a veto over. Penny, is that something
that worries you, a European army? It worries me because I think all
member states need to focus on the things that have a practical a
tangible benefit. If we had an EU army it would not do any war
fighting. The notion that it could be deployed, or indeed an
intelligence agency, that will not lead to greater intelligence
sharing. To finish the section on defence, would be easier for us to
persuade them not to have an army if we are in or out, one thought would
be they're much more likely to have an army if the UK is in it. Friends
aside, the UK is the only country to have serious military power and the
will to yield it. -- wielded. We are having these conversations now when
we're it. We tried reform in we've got to do do something that would be
it a catalyst to reform. I do not want them to be doing things that
would not make them safer. Security is not just about defence,
geo-political positioning, and facing up to President Putin,
or failing to. It's also about security
on our own streets, That has been obvious
since the Paris and Brussels attacks So let's focus on that for the next
section of the programme. Again, you're weighing up potential
losses and gains. If we leave, do we stand to lose
much, in cooperation Do we stand to gain more border
security and freedom to do We'll ask our guests,
but security means being armed, so let's arm ourselves
with some facts. Thanks to the channel and North Sea
the UK still has a well-defined border with the continent. We are
not in the borderless Schengen zone so we check travel documents of
people coming in and of course there are any way security checks on
planes, the Eurostar and cars using the tunnel. One important exception,
the UK has an open border with the Republic of Ireland. Anyone who gets
to Dublin can drive to Belfast and fly to the UK. It is not clear what
border arrangements would apply here if we left the EU. A key concession
is that EU citizens can turn up and get into the UK with just a valid
travel documents. We can refuse entry only if an individual
constitutes a genuine present and sufficiently serious threat
affecting one of the fundamental interests of society. Obviously you
would have to know that someone is such a threat. We cannot refuse
entry simply on the grounds that someone has a criminal conviction.
We can deport EU citizens but not easily. And again only in serious
cases relating to public policy, security or health. Away from the
border, the UK course rates with EU on security. Here is a phrase book
of key terms. There's the Schengen
Information System. A pan-European database covering
anything from missing people, to those involved in serious crimes,
and those who should There are more than 46 million
entries and last year, Britain made a quarter of a million
enquiries on that database. There's the European Arrest Warrant,
introduced in 2004. It expedites extraditions
within the EU and stops The European DNA database holds
police DNA, fingerprints and vehicle 5 million records
held across Europe. The UK stands aside from this. But
then there are areas where the EU has failed to meet hopes for more
information sharing. Most notably, plans to collect
Passenger Name Records, or PNRs. The idea is to oblige airlines
to hand over passenger data. It has been debated since 2011
and has still not been implemented. A little guide into some security
practicalities there. Richard Walton, you ran counter
terrorism until earlier this year at Scotland Yard. How valuable and how
much would you regret the loss of intelligence sharing that you were
getting from other authorities in the EU? We face a global terrorist
threat, not regional, and as the Home Secretary said today, she said
passing across her desk were more cases relating to international
terrorism outside EU borders went in. It is not a probably face but a
global terrorist threat. And we need a global response and not a regional
one. The database managed by the EU, I would say they are marginal, of
marginal benefit and do not handle secret intelligence. Secret
intelligence relating to terrorism is passed from country to country by
naturally according to a different set of rules. It is of some benefit,
the Schengen information system, the passenger database mentioned is
useful and European Arrest Warrant is useful but marginal. I would also
say that you do not need to be in the EU to use those databases.
Iceland and Norway both use them. Neither of them are in the EU.
They're both in the Schengen incidentally, so they share
information that way. Europol have a number of operational agreements
with a lot of different countries outside the EU, Columbia, Australia,
the United States. So it is not worth that much but we would get it
anyway. And for information sharing, there's a balance of payments
surplus, we give more than we get in general? We have the finest
intelligence agencies probably outside of America anywhere in the
world. Our counterterrorism infrastructure is envied across the
world. There is no way the EU would ever want to preclude our data,
whether secret data or non-secret, from either Schengen information
database or bilateral. We will carry on, if we let the EU we would carry
on regardless. It would make no difference whatsoever in terms of
information sharing. We do that across the EU but also with Turkey,
with Afghanistan, wherever the threat might be. Rob Wainwright from
Europol, what is wrong with that argument, it sounds quite natural.
In Europol we operate many of these martial databases Richard spoke
about and they are anything but. The Schengen information system is the
largest security database in Europe, over 60 million entries. At Europol
we are connecting over 600 law enforcement agencies, bulk data
processing systems working alongside intelligence services and
arrangements with the Americans. This is not having to choose between
America or Europe, or even between different forms of cooperation
within Europe. It is a complex terrorist threat we face, we need to
have the maximum range of cooperation tools. At the moment the
EU is building significant and unique instruments for data sharing
across Europe. You saw them on the film, I will give you more examples
now. But we would be in them anyway, they would not kick as out of any.
But how do you know. There is no country currently has access to that
database that is both outside the EU and outside the Schengen area. We
would be that country. We would have to make a historical precedents
therefore negotiation access to that database. So no direct access. And I
could go on. Of course the UK wouldn't negotiate it is partial
access to be some arrangements but it would not be as effective as it
is now and meanwhile the rest of Europe is institutionalising the
sharing of data through EU systems. Interpol has been existence since
1956, Europol for 20 years. Interpol shares data and information across
190 states. The last major terrorist attack we had affecting UK citizens
was 30 British nationals killed on a beach in Tunisia. Tunisia is not
part of the EU. You have duplicated what was already in existence with
Interpol. What we needed to do was invested Interpol and not create
another set of information databases and we had no idea whether they use
the same search regimes. We have not done that and the rest of Europe has
not and so far they have institutionalised their work through
the EU including building up Europol in a way that operates in a
different way to Interpol. Richard mentioned the attack in Tunisia but
do not forget more recently right on our doorstep in Paris and Brussels,
carried out by European people operating on European soil. Who
entered from Syria, outside the EU. But information about who they are,
where they came from, are they speaking with anyone in the UK, it
can be held in the hands of European services who are sharing that data
through bilateral channels and more and more to use systems as well.
Interpol does not play a role in that. You made a case that we would
not be worse off because those databases are not important and we
would use them anyway but can you make the case that we would be
better off in terms of information leaving the EU? I'm not making that
case. I'm saying on that issue, let me just address one issue, Europol
has been exaggerating its responsibilities and operational
capabilities. It is important that the public understand it is not a
law enforcement agency. It has presented itself recently as a law
enforcement agency and it is not. It is not important counterterrorism it
has never made an arrest, the public must understand what Europol is and
what it is not. It is a platform connecting 600 law enforcement
agencies through the sharing of thousands of messages every day
allowing national authorities to make those arrests. If we have
someone coming in here flagged on that database, that is not enough
for us to exclude them from coming to this country. How often is this
occurring, that someone is flagged and we let them in. We have to have
different thresholds from people coming from the EU than outside the
EU. It happens frequently. We have to have really a cast-iron case
against an individual. A few a year or a few a day rest at thousands a
year. 25,000 people last year. It is a myth to say we do not control or
borders. Theresa May to have credit strengthened... We're just heard
people must be let in. The thresholds have changed, Theresa May
negotiated at tightening up of that. This is in recent negotiations. And
they have no legal weight. It is an international agreement. The issue
is about... We can stop people. Everyone has to show their passport.
And everyone is checked and if people are not, if they have
criminal records, they are engaged in terrorism, we turn them away.
What is the current state of play, if it but there are thousands of
people who are on watchlist is who we let in, who we would not want to
let in but have two because we are in the EU? That is not the case.
5,000 foreign fighter who are currently tying in crack, who no
doubt will be returning some time soon, when the war ends there, back
in to Europe, from the states they were, will they be allowed to...
This is about the quality of information. We are not in Schengen.
That would be ample grounds... We We have them on list, we look at the
passport and we can say no. , So Penny is wrong. That is not correct.
It is not enough that someone has a criminal record. That could be minor
shoplifting, he is talking about terrorism. And including links to
terrorist organisation, that is not enough to exclude them. The other...
Links to terrorist organisation, is your understanding someone with
those links we can stop them coming in. Without question. From the EU.
So there is a factual difference, we won't sort it out here. But... The
database may or may not The issue is the quality of information. I want
to bring Shami in. We have been talking more security is better more
intelligence is better, in your many years at Lynnty -- Liberty, no
longer there, you were concerned about some of these things and some
of the European projects like the European Arrest Warrant, which is a
pretty quick expedited process for getting someone into court in a
different country. If we leave, do we get more civil liberties, are you
happier door we get fewer? I don't think we get, I don't think we get
more, I think this is a shrinking interconnected world. We can't run
away from that, globalisation is a reality not a choice. I want that
globalisation not to just be about organised criminals and terrorist,
and massive cop rat, I want that globalisation to be a sharing of
human rights values. I have at times been critical of certain measures
taken by you, but that is a very important point. I have been
critical of certain measures taking by UK Governments and European
institutions too, I want there to be cooperation on security, I just want
it to also be subject to appropriate safeguards, checks and balances. I
want to use you as an expert witness on deportation, one of the things
that is said it is harder to deport someone who is an EU citizen. Will
is a hiring standard of damage to get them out than we would need for
other country, if we leave, will it be easier for us to deport people? I
think that when we are talking about security, we are talking about, not
petty criminal, we are talking about threats to national security, you
are well able to deport people even within the EU, there is no doubt
about that. When people form family ties in the UK, over a long period
of time, they become more difficult to deport, whether it is to the EU
or anywhere else, and that is rightly, because human heights --
rights law respects the right of children to be with their parents.
Is that the, European convention of human rights which is not do do
with... On deportation, when people express concern, about refugees, and
of course we call them migrants and everything other than their true
name which is ref gee, I would remind people another part of
Churchill's important post-war settlement and legacy is the refugee
convention, we are bound to give people refugee protection under the
refugee convention, I don't believe even Brexit people say they want to
tear that up. Up. It is the Dublin arrangements within the EU that
allow Britain to send even some genuine refugees back to another
member state, if they came to that state first. Penny, do you buy what
you have heard. 252... Do you want to leave the European convention on
human rights as well as the EU? Think one of the issues about that
convention that particularly concerns me, is the effect it has on
our operations in defence. So, and I am sure Colonel Kemp with back me up
on this. I will give you one example. When we were in
Afghanistan, we arrested in a fire fight, we took prisoner someone from
the Taliban who was making IEDs on an industrial scale. We held him for
more than 96 howevers for his own protection, so that we could --
hours so we could ensure when he was handed oh he wouldn't face torture,
he is now suing us, successfully for breaching his human rights. You, it
sound like you do, you can't pick and choose, can you. There are grave
difficultties with what that means for us, because it is undermining
international humanitarian law, things like the Geneva Conventions
which do sensible things that allow us to take prisoners. Do you think
most on your side, your party share your view that these two, the EU and
the European convention of human rights you might as well come out of
both, if you are doing the buy one get one free? Very learn people have
said you, the only way to do that, is to leave the EU. I am not a
lawyer. You want to tear up the human rights convention, that other
part of Churchill's settlement? I think there have been unintended
consequence, no-one set out to cause come casings but for me, if we are
sending our Armed Forces into battle, and they are not able to
take prisoners an they face being sued for doing their job, I think...
What about the grieving families who lost their children at deep cut.
They wouldn't have had an inquest that is happening. That is not the
case. It is. As a matter of law it is the case. I don't want to go too
deeply into that, Alan Johnson, do you think we end up coming out of
the human rights convention? In case viewers might be confused, the
European Court of Human Rights is nothing to do with the European
Union, OK? It is, Theresa May was making this point today. It is the
European Court of justice which is different. I don't agree with
pulling out the European Court of human right, the convention was
written by British civil servant, after the war, to stop that terrible
including the Holocaust happening again, it very important, as a
message to the rest of the world. But it is a completely separate
argument. It, people are going to link them. It is separate. If you
are going to, if you are going to leave the convention, arguably you
have got to leave the EU. You have to be in both. People do say that
condition of being in the EU... The problem is... Why don't we leave
Nato? I want to tairt up because it places the rights of terrorists
above the rights of British citizens. I have allowed far too
much discussion, I want to ask Penny a few last questions about borders
specifically. And Penny, Dominic Rab subjected we would have visas
between continent of Europe and the UK, if you didn't have visas, would
you get more security at the border than we have now? I think what, what
you need to do is to take back control to be able to make decision,
currently, you can't do that, there are all sorts of arrangements. You
want to have the option, I want to be clear, we check everybody as they
come in, we can't exclude them for small thing, we can only exclude
them for big thing, what difference is that border going to make if you
don't have a proper border with visas where you check people, they
go to the Embassy and they are interviewed. There are all sorts of
arrangements you could have. Visa free but some sort of light visas
like we do with the United States, the key thing is, that you can make,
with what intelligence you have, a decision about whether to keep
someone out, or let them in. That is what we don't have. We don't have
full control. I understand. What do you do about the board tweern the
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, because the republic is not
going to put visa restrictions to France, to it is going to let people
in from Paris, they are going to drive across the border to Belfast,
they can get on a plane, fly to Britain, what, what is your solution
for that border? Well, the, prior your to the EU coming into being,
there are arrangements between northern and southern Ireland. But
that is... What arrangements are you proposing? Those could be negotiated
between us. I can't even, I am struggling to imagine what it is,
other than a border. A military border is this There are a raft of
things that you... One example. Police check, the presumption at the
moment if you have a European passport you are waved through. What
we are arguing for is to have the, is the turn the presumption round
the other way, so it is, yes you can come in, but we will make sure that
you are not a criminal, you haven't got terrorist traces. So a
checkpoint between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I used
to stand at Terminal 1 and we used to check passengers as they came
through. It was a border control. You know, from... From Belfast to
Great Britain, or from... Both. Every other British border has a
checkpoint. Have you sounded people in Northern Ireland on that? I am
saying borders are not necessarily a bad thing, we have seen 2 hundred
people killed in in terrorist attacks in two years because of...
Last comment. The irony is the information we need, to identify a
sex offender or drug traffickers at the moment is in the Schengen
information system It is not. I don't know when the last time you
stood at ard bore control point. That is what we are using to
identify them. -- a border control. Our borders will be less safe. I
want to, we are just about out of time ago eventually. We have had
some clear factual differences which people will go away, check out and
will report back on. I want to ask our audience. Have you heard
anything that has swayeddown way or the other, more -- swayed you one
way or the other. It is mainly -- made me realise security isn't a for
or against leaving the EU argument, because it sounds like we will be
just as secure if believe, so why is it, why, we believe. Why, if we are
going to share information if we leave the EU, we the EU isn't a
mechanism. I won't make so much difference. I am not hearing that at
all. I am not hearing anything concrete to get of. I am hearing
abstract idea, nothing concrete I can get hold of. Because I haven't
got to the bottom of the detail, there appear to be devils in detail,
then I am risk-averse, I would rather not change things, if I don't
have a cast iron guarantee, that things are going to function, I
haven't heard. It is non-scientific. How many of you listening to the
debate tonight have thought, what I have heard would steer me a little
more or more towards leaving the EU? How many would say the debate has
steered you towards leaving? And how many are saying it steered me more
towards staying? Really. Goodness. That is interesting. Penny you have
a bit of persuading to do. I remember from the first debate, one
of the comments you made was that you felt you wanted to be something,
a part of something bigger, part of something all together, I think one
of the most offensive arguments that has been put forward, from the
re-main camp is that somehow if we left the EU, that France, or Germany
or any other member state would not share information, would not
co-operate with us, they would put their own citizens and ours in
harm's way, to out of spite, and I think that is not the case, you only
have to look at the out pouring of solidarity that happened after the
London bombings or the recent events in Paris to know that that is not
the case at all. The argument that hasn't been discuss tonight, is why
we would be safer, if we came out. Currently, judgments that are made
in the European Court are putting in jeopardy our only intelligence
agencies is. Which one? The European Court. It is part of the free
movement. Which decision. Part of the free movement rules and it is
what it is saying is that we cannot share our information, we cannot...
Which decision? You haven't reached agreement. What it is doing is
undermine ourable to share information with the US. -- our
aren't. We need to leave it there. And I can tell you what, on our blog
page there is lots of fact checking and there there will be teams of
producers trying to work out whether, what some of the factual
differences are. Let me thank politicians, Penny,
Alan, our expert panel and our regular audience, we have had three
of these specials now, we are half way through them, our next special
focuses on migration, that is going to be on Tuesday at, the 12th May. I
will be back tomorrow. Join me then, good night.
Good evening. It will be a cold start today on Tuesday, some