The attack in Manchester this week brought to the fore another sensitive topic of the Brexit negotiations: the future cooperation on justice and security.
On Monday 22 May a man blew himself up in the foyer of the Manchester Arena after the concert of American singer Ariana Grande. The show had just finished and people were leaving the venue: 22 died and 59 were injured. Many of them were teenagers and children. Among the victims, there was a Polish couple who had gone to pick up their daughters. The suicide bomber was a 22-year-old man born in Britain from Libyan parents, who was connected with Islamic extremists. The Manchester attack is the worst act of terror in the UK since the London bombings of 2005, and the fourth deadliest in Western Europe since 2015.
In the past two decades EU countries have created ways to deal with common threats such as terrorism, cybercrime and illicit trafficking. There are mechanisms to share information and join forces in investigations. Will they be kept in the UK after Brexit?
Professor Liz Campbell of Durham University has analysed the existing tools describing options for the future. The conclusion of her study is that Britain should maintain as much as possible current arrangements, especially considering that London already enjoys a special status (the UK can opt in different measures rather than applying them automatically). The UK could keep similar levels of cooperation with the EU, but this would require accepting the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice, an option the current government is opposing…