A no-deal Brexit could be financially costly and put the public at risk, Britain’s most senior police officer has warned.
Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said crashing out of the EU without an agreement would mean having to replace certain structures, such as access to databases and agreements on arrest and extradition, which could threaten the police’s crime-fighting capability.
“We will have to replace some of the things we currently use in terms of access to databases, the way in which we can quickly extradite and arrest people … [We will] have to replace them as effectively as we can, but it will be more costly, slower and potentially put [the] public at risk … There is no doubt about that. This is one of many things politicians deciding what to do need to be thinking about,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday.
She added that the Met had set up an EU coordination unit, as reported in the Guardian. The aim of the unit is to help forces understand “how to work most effectively across Europe to exit the EU under whatever circumstances”.
Dick said: “We would hope that we have as much as possible the instruments we currently have or something similar, as quickly as possible, to keep the public safe.
“The consequences of not having those things, and if there was [a] no-deal scenario, would be difficult in the short term.”
When asked whether there was enough time to properly make replacements, Dick said: “We can talk about what might happen, but of course while there are so many unknowns, nothing can be put in place … But we can talk with colleagues and we are doing that all the time.”