The police are worried about an uptick in terrorism in the event of a no-deal Brexit | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
No-deal Brexit could lead to increased terrorism in Northern Ireland, police say
‘It is really important for us to emphasize that we are currently operating within severe threat,’ says assistant chief constable.
Updated 10/15/19, 12:59 PM CET
LONDON — A no-deal Brexit could open up opportunities for terrorist crimes and activities in Northern Ireland, a senior police official warned.
Appearing in front of the House of Commons’ exiting the European Union committee today, Assistant Chief Constable of Police Service Northern Ireland Greg Clarke said the agency would “go back into suboptimal” operations if the U.K. loses access to the European Arrest Warrant and is unable to share criminal data with the EU in a crashout exit scenario.
Such an outcome also offers dissident republican groups a “rallying cry,” he added.
“There is a potential for opportunities to exist for them to carry terrorist crimes and activities, depending on what [border checks] infrastructure, for example, would look like,” Clarke told MPs.
“It is really important for us to emphasize that we are currently operating within severe threat.”
PSNI has restricted its leave to 10 percent of staff in the run-up to the Brexit deadline of October 31, Clarke said. The service has also recently increased its number of officers by slightly over 300, of which about 200 have been assigned to the five border districts with the Republic of Ireland,