Priti Patel said Britain will crack down on illegal immigration and ‘reform the broken asylum system’ – Stefan Rousseau/PA
Britain will be a safer country to live in now it has left the European Union, Priti Patel has said.
The Home Secretary pledged to use “even tougher powers to keep this country safe and protect our homeland security” after the UK quit the jurisdiction of the EU at the end of the Brexit transition period.
The comments will be seen as a riposte to Brussels, which claimed last month that the UK would no longer have “direct, real-time access” to sensitive databases covering freedom, security and justice in its new trade deal.
The deal was seen as diminishing the UK’s security because its membership of Europol, Eurojust, the European Arrest Warrant and real-time sensitive data-sharing agreements such as the Schengen Information System (SIS2) all ended last week.
However, writing in The Telegraph Ms Patel said the deal “gives our police and security services the tools and partnerships to help keep the public safe”.
She added: “And having left the EU means we can give these agencies stronger powers to keep this country safe. That includes banning foreign criminals who have served more than a year in jail from entering the UK.
“We will refuse to accept insecure national identity cards and we will be able to crack down on illegal imports of goods through the introduction of pre-arrival data on goods being imported from the EU. We will also crack down on illegal immigration and reform the broken asylum system.
“Forging a new relationship with the EU also means taking back control of our borders, allowing Britain to finally control who comes into this country. Free movement has ended and people who want to live in the UK will now have to meet the requirements of our new points-based system.”
Ms Patel was, with Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, one of just two members of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet who refused to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal on all three occasions when it was put to MPs in early 2019.
Also writing in The Telegraph, Ms Braverman said the deal marked a “seismic shift in our law-making” because the UK is no longer beholden to judges on the European Court of Justice.
She said: “The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union will no longer take precedence in the UK’s higher courts.
“The thousands of judgments handed down by the Luxembourg court every year – interpreting EU laws, determining questions on regulations in areas as varied as competition, health and safety, manufacturing, and the environment – will no longer bind our judges at home.
“What comes next is up to us and us alone. As a nation, we are on the cusp of another journey – of rebuilding, reforming, innovating, exporting, of discovering new markets and new ways of seeing the world.
“There is now a huge opportunity for us to emphatically embrace this new freedom and sovereignty as we write the next chapter about the British genius for democracy.”