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We have all seen the dreadful event that occurred recently in Grays, Thurrock where 39 people were found dead in the back of a lorry trailer. We commend Essex Police, the national crime agency and Europol’s trafficking team for all the work they have done in this fast-moving investigation.

If the UK leaves the EU without agreeing a cooperation agreement it will no longer be part of Europol or the European Justice network and will fall outside the scope of the European Arrest Warrant.

I have recently retired from the Metropolitan Police. When I was a serving police officer I would always check to see if someone was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant and if they were, the process of sending them back to their home country was relatively easy. If Brexit happens it will be much more difficult because we won’t have access to vital European databases like the Schengen information system (SIS). 

SIS is the most widely used and largest information sharing system for security and border management in Europe. At the end of 2017, it contained approximately 76.5 million records, it was accessed 5.2 billion times and secured 243,818 hits.

SIS is used to check the legal status of vehicles. It allows the police to create alerts on missing persons or objects related to criminal offences. Post Brexit UK law enforcement bodies would have to rely on Interpol alerts which are not nearly as effective. 

Senior British Police officers are so alarmed at the potential loss of this valuable tool that teams were put together to copy and paste SIS alerts should the UK be locked out of this system. Without the same security terms as now, our law enforcement bodies will be at a disadvantage compared to the EU's.

Make no mistake, the criminal network across the EU are looking at the UK and are thinking that there are rich pickings to be made post-Brexit. People should be rightfully concerned about this because the criminal networks across Europe will be targeting them.

By James Chespy, Retired Metropolitan Police Officer

 

 

Policing and Criminal Justice post Brexit

We have all seen the dreadful event that occurred recently in Grays, Thurrock where 39 people were found dead in the back of a lorry trailer. We commend Essex Police,...



Boris Johnson’s rise and rise could have been strangled at birth in the 2008 London Mayoral campaign.

I was a press officer at Labour HQ part of the campaign to return Ken Livingstone for a third term in City Hall.

Livingstone was a good Mayor but a lacklustre campaigner unwilling to take the fight to Johnson.

Even more important was that Tory campaign chief Lynton Crosby successfully gagged his wayward candidate.  We were relying on Johnson to commit the gaffes which had been part of his political persona. Crosby stopped that.

A scoop by Sky’s Lewis Goodall gives us hopes that Johnson the gaffer has re-emerged. Goodall got his hands on a video of a rambling Johnson speech to Tories in Northern Ireland. In it, he is asked point-blank if any NI>GB trade will be subject to customs declarations. PM: “You will absolutely not. If anyone asks you to do that tell them to ring up the PM and I’ll direct them to put that for in the bin.”

As Channel 4’s Factcheck showed, Johnson contradicts his own cabinet on Northern Ireland trade.

Putting it bluntly Johnson was lying to Northern Ireland Tories. It comes in at number six on Labour’s recent video of just ten of the many times he has lied.

In The Guardian Marina Hyde sums up his first week as: “Lurching and rambling, Boris Johnson is in charge. But he’s lost control.”

Whether Johnson gets away with his Brexit gamble will depend on tactical voting by Remain voters. Gina Miller, who led the case against the government’s suspension of parliament, has recently launched her website Remain United.

Compared to the 180 recommended by Best for Britain. Remain United’s model suggests that the Lib Dems are only likely to win 33 seats if there is a significant tactical voting drive. However, both have said they will do polls near the end of the election campaign and update their recommendations accordingly.

By Don Brind - Former BBC political correspondent and Labour Press officer

Picture from (Boris Johnson - Caricature CC BY 2.0; Author: DonkeyHotey)

Boris Johnson doesn’t know his own Brexit policy

Boris Johnson’s rise and rise could have been strangled at birth in the 2008 London Mayoral campaign. I was a press officer at Labour HQ part of the campaign to...

We know that Boris Johnson is a liar. How many examples do you need? The Daily Telegraph which paid him a quarter of a million a year has just apologised for blatant untruths in three columns this year.

We know he’s the enemy in the current battle. Only preventing a Conservative majority can stop Johnson from delivering his disastrous Brexit.

Sadly, the party leader who should be our ally in the Remain cause, Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats, is outdoing the Tory leader on the mendacity front.

Swinson is putting party before country. That was her obvious motive for abandoning the People’s Vote common front amongst opposition parties.

It led her to collude with Johnson on calling an early election. Lest we forget the Commons had blocked him from rushing through his deal and there was a good chance of a majority for a People’s Vote to break the Brexit deadlock.

Swinson’s spurious justification was that a handful of Labour MPs had given initial approval to Boris Johnson’s “deal”. Most, however, had made it clear they wouldn’t support it through to the end without attaching a confirmatory referendum.

Jo Swinson’s biggest con is her signature policy of revoking article 50 without a People’s Vote. She claims she will have a mandate if she’s elected Prime Minister as the leader of a majority government. That is a total fantasy.

She would need well over 300 seats to achieve that. Let’s look at what she would need to do to get halfway there. To take 150 seats she would need to gain seats such as Redcar, Edinburgh North and Leith and Maidenhead, requiring swings of more than 26%.    

Former leader Vince Cable isn’t going along with the Swinson fantasy.

Sky’s Lewis Goodall reports: “Sir Vince Cable tells me he expects the Lib Dems to win between 45-85 seats at the election. They’d be doing very well to get the lower end of that range.”

And Sky’s Sophie Ridge delivered a “must watch” demolition of Swinson’s record as a minister in the Cameron-Clegg coalition. 

By spending more time attacking Labour than attacking the Conservatives, Swinson is

  •       helping the Tories defeat sitting Labour MPs in marginal seats
  •       damaging the chances of a People’s Vote on any Brexit outcome
  •       playing into the hands of the Tory Brexiteers.

Many Liberal Democrats get it. If they are a real Remainer they will do all they can to reign in their tribal leader.

By Don Brind - Former BBC political correspondent and Labour Press officer

 

Swinson: Selling the Remain cause short

We know that Boris Johnson is a liar. How many examples do you need? The Daily Telegraph which paid him a quarter of a million a year has just apologised...

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