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'Messy divorce' would help no one UK Prime Minister Theresa May is warning that failure to negotiate an agreement on Britain's exit from the European Union could damage security cooperation.

The tough line - contained in Wednesday's historic letter triggering Article 50 - has re-focused minds on the possible security implications of Brexit.…
Concerns about cybersecurity info sharing shared in interview The UK will “certainly be cut off from the full intelligence picture” after Brexit, Europol's acting head of strategy for cybercrime warned The Register.

This comes after UK law enforcement agencies from the National Crime Agency to Police Scotland have been meeting with Europol in an attempt to mitigate this. Phillipp Amann, a senior strategic analyst of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, and currently its acting head of strategy, warned that the UK was facing severe limitations in its ability to collaborate with the continent on security matters after it leaves the EU. Amann told The Register that the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland had been in discussions with Europol regarding maintaining access to the EU-wide intelligence sharing platforms following Britain's departure from the politico-economic union. The UK currently chairs the European Cybercrime Task Force (EUCTF), which harmonises the trans-jurisdictional fight against cybercrime. Not only would this be impossible once the UK has left the EU, but access to security databases such as the Europol Information System would be withdrawn following Brexit. “They would certainly be cut off,” Amann said of the UK. “They wouldn't have access to the full intelligence picture. You won't have the same visibility that you would have as a full EU member.” Amann, an Austrian national who speaks English with a gentle Irish inflection, said he did not think Brexit would create weaknesses for either the EU or the UK when it came to dealing with cybersecurity, but said it would become “more complex to achieve the same that they can achieve now". “If you're part of the EU you have full access to all of the information systems we have.
If you are a non-EU member but we have an operational agreement then we can still share operational data,” Amann explained, “but you won't have access to certain systems and also you certainly wouldn't have access and you wouldn't be part of any governance group that would decide on the priorities.” Europol has had “a number of meetings” – which Amann thinks is a “really good sign” – with British law enforcement, including the National Crime Agency and Police Scotland, to explore what the opportunities are for continued information sharing in the future: “I get the sense that they're very much aware of what's likely going to happen and what I think is really promising is that they're already starting to look at mitigation strategies and really explore what we can do and what the potential consequences are.” Although no full assessment has been made of those consequences, Amann said all the actors involved are trying to get as much information as possible about those potential consequences. What happens after Article 50? Europol is receiving a new legal framework from May of next year, Amann told us.

The UK has an opt-in for this service, and even though the UK will not have left the EU by then, Article 50 may not have even been triggered by that time, the nation's decision regarding that legal framework is going to be an indicator of its approach to security collaborations after Brexit. The UK has been “a very strong partner” to Europol, not only in dealing with cybercrime but also in the arenas of counter-terrorism and migration. “Those are other areas where [the UK] would potentially lose access to the full intelligence picture,” said Amann. “They will certainly lose the ability to steer the process, what are we going to do, what are we going to focus on.” I wouldn't call it weaknesses but what is certainly likely to happen is that, whatever they have in place right now, whatever communicational processes or operational agreements they have, it will become, with the Brexit, much more complicated, more costly, more resource intense, to maintain the same level of capability. It “could be” the case that Europol's intelligence picture would be equally damaged by Brexit, Amann conceded.

There are currently a number of non-EU partners who share offices at Europol in the Hague. “There are a number of examples of other countries who are in that category,” Amann added, but said the UK was “certainly going to lose some capabilities at the governance level”. Neither the National Crime Agency nor the newly formed Department for Exiting the EU had responded to The Register's enquiries at the time of publication. ®
Enlarge / Japanese PM Shinzo Abe arrives in China for the G20 summit... just as his country's awkward Brexit memo lands.Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images reader comments 11 Share this story Prime minister Theresa May said at the weekend that she wanted to take her time to secure the best trade deals for a post-Brexit Britain, and reiterated—in her trademark vague terms—that the so-called Article 50 won't be triggered this year.

But political pressure from governments as far away as Japan continues to mount. On Sunday, in a bold move, the Japanese government published a 15-page memo (PDF) setting out a number of demands it wants the UK to adhere to, once it leaves the European Union. It underscored that Britain faces a torrid time of negotiations—not just with member states in the EU, but further afield, too. Japan, which has close economic ties with the UK, listed its demands based on requests from businesses in the country.
It said: Since Europe including the UK is a major trading partner and investment destination for other countries in Asia as well as of Japan, it is in the common interest of all Asian countries as a whole that they continue to have access to the free market of Europe, including the UK. It is of great importance that the UK and the EU maintain market integrity and remain attractive destinations for businesses where free trade, unfettered investment, and smooth financial transactions are ensured. In light of the fact that a number of Japanese businesses, invited by the government in some cases, have invested actively to the UK, which was seen to be a gateway to Europe, and have established value-chains across Europe, we strongly request that the UK will consider this fact seriously and respond in a responsible manner to minimise any harmful effects on these businesses. It's brutal stuff from Japan, and could well lead to other countries making similarly robust demands. On tech specifically, the Japanese government called on the UK and EU, post-Brexit, to maintain cloud agreements between businesses at an international level, by safeguarding the "free transfer of data." Here's the list in full: [Requests directed at the UK and the EU] maintenance of the current tariff rates and customs clearance procedures; ・introduction of provisions for cumulative rules of origin; ・maintenance of the access to workers who are nationals of the UK or the EU; ・maintenance of the freedom of establishment and the provision of financial services, including the “single passport” system; ・maintenance of the freedom of cross-border investment and the provision of services as well as the free movement of capital, including that between associated companies; ・maintenance of the current level of information protection and the free transfer of data; ・unified protection of intellectual property rights; ・maintenance of harmonisation of the regulations and standards between the UK and the EU (including the maintenance of established frameworks of mutual recognition and equivalence); ・securing the UK’s function as a clearing centre for the Euro and the location within the UK of EU agencies such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA); and ・maintenance of the UK’s access to the EU budget for research and development and participation in the Japan-EU joint research project. [Additional requests directed at the UK] ・liberalisation of trade in goods without the burdens of customs duties and procedures; ・maintenance of access to workers with the necessary skills; ・maintenance of basic policies regarding the entry of foreign capital; ・implementation of measures to promote investment; ・maintenance of the current levels of information protection and the free transfer of data in case the UK establishes its own legislation distinct from the EU’s; ・ensuring the consistency of regulations and standards between the UK and the EU; and ・ensuring that the EU’s research and development budget applies to research institutions in the UK. [Additional request directed at the EU] ・provision of transitional arrangements for the single passporting system. PM May is currently in China with other world leaders at the G20 summit, where she will be attempting to negotiate on global trade and investment plans with her peers as Brexit looms large. But over the weekend, US president Obama repeated his earlier disappointment about the UK voting to leave the EU. When quizzed, he said that Britain was at the back of the queue, saying "it would not make sense" for the US to put the UK ahead of Asia and the EU on trade deals. "We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that the consequences of the decision don’t end up unraveling what is already a very strong and robust economic relationship," Obama said, before adding that "the first task is going to be figuring out what Brexit means with respect to Europe." On Monday afternoon MPs in the UK will debate a call, based on a public petition, for a second EU referendum—something that May has already said won't happen on her watch. This post originated on Ars Technica UK