Brexit would bring serious security consequences: Europol head

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 19, 2016 7:04 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - A British decision to leave the European Union would involve serious security consequences, the director of the European Union's law enforcement agency Europol said on Tuesday.

"If you put at risk any part of the framework for international police cooperation and intelligence sharing, that Britain currently relies on then there clearly is potential for consequences," Rob Wainwright told Reuters.

"I think there are some pretty serious security consequences actually," he added. "If we accept that the EU does provide an important part of our security ... then the debate moves on to how do we mitigate that potential loss, so it becomes a damage limitation exercise."

Britain votes in a referendum on whether to remain a member of the EU on June 23.

Wainwright also said he was not confident that all those involved in carrying out the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels had been arrested.

Suicide bombers in Brussels killed 32 people last month and November's attacks in Paris left 130 people dead.

"I'm not entirely confident," he said when asked whether all the organizers had been detained. "That's because we have a fragmented intelligence picture of precisely who is involved and where they are."

Speaking on the sidelines of a security conference in London, he said he was "certainly not confident" that other attacks were not being planned.

(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)