On Wednesday 31st January, Dr Peter Lee, Director of the Security and Risk Theme at The University of Portsmouth, appeared on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Solent; to discuss the security implications of Brexit. Since the EU Referendum took place, BBC Breakfast has regularly sent outdoor broadcast teams to different parts of the country, to examine the implications of different aspects of Brexit.
BBC Breakfast visited the International Ferry Terminal in Portsmouth to discuss the Security implications of Brexit. Dr Peter Lee was invited to take part in discussions that covered future security checks for freight and passengers, the importance of ongoing defence links with NATO, and the global nature of many threats that extend beyond Europe, such as cybercrime, and food and water security.
Over the past year, BBC News have reported the following on these issues:
Recent discussions suggest that the UK will have less control of policing its borders yet there is no doubt that these will be tightened. At present, detailed checks of EU citizens crossing in to the UK are not routinely carried out. The question is, would Brexit make any difference to this process? Or would it make the sharing of information more difficult? There is concern that ports will become overwhelmed by the increasing demands Brexit will impose.
In terms of military relations to NATO, it is important to remember that NATO are responsible for the military defence of Europe and Britain is not leaving NATO and remains 100% committed.
BBC news states that concerns about Russia undermining international rules, and links to espionage and Cybercrime, have been discussed. Previous cyber-attacks on governments have been called out and it has been made clear that a zero tolerance approach will be taken to such behaviour. Regardless of the Brexit outcome, MI5 and GCHQ’s efforts will continue.
With global food security dropping for the first time in four years, Brexit could pose an ‘extreme risk’ to future progress, according to the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit). The use of pesticides and animal management are also a concern.
While the security challenges facing the UK are unlikely to change significantly after Brexit, the means of addressing some of the European-focused elements may need to adapt.