Tuesday, 22 March 2016

INFacts: Brussels bombings reason to stay in EU, not quit

INFacts: Brussels bombings reason to stay in EU, not quit

by Hugo Dixon


"There are two main errors in the Brexiteers’ arguments. First, Britain is not part of the Schengen Area. We have our own border controls. Even if Schengen’s leaky borders helped the Brussels bombers – and that is currently speculation – a jihadi would still be checked at the UK border.

The second problem with the eurosceptics’ arguments is they ignore how cross-border cooperation helps keep Britain safer. Each of the EU’s 28 countries has only one bit of a jigsaw puzzle. If they swap information, it is easier to piece together what is happening.

After the Charlie Hebdo massacres, we opted into the Schengen Information System, a database that contains, among other things, details on 250,000 wanted or missing people and 40 million alerts on identity documents. Some of this is relevant to terrorism. We also benefit from the European Arrest Warrant, which allows us to extradite criminals – including terror suspects – rapidly from other EU countries."

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