Europe News

Germany warns of security risks in dogmatic EU approach to Brexit: FT

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer arrives for a coalition meeting with the CDU and the SPD parties at the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

LONDON (Reuters) - Germany’s interior minister has warned the European Union that it risks putting lives at risk with a dogmatic approach to Brexit that would hamper reaching an unlimited security deal with Britain, the Financial Times reported.

In response, the European Commission said that Michel Barnier was the sole Brexit negotiator for the EU.

In a June 27 letter to the European Commission, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer diverged from Berlin’s official policy to argue that “ensuring the security of citizens in Europe should take precedence over all other aspects of (Britain’s) exit negotiations”, the FT reported.

The Brexit negotiations have made little headway for months.

“I can confirm we have received the letter but also I’d like to point out that there is only one Brexit negotiation and one Brexit negotiator. This is Michel Barnier,” a Commission spokeswoman told a news conference.

In his letter, Seehofer said that “weakening the European security architecture would affect all EU citizens and undermine their fundamental need for security”.

“The ever-present threat of cross-border terrorism shows the need for unlimited cooperation in future,” Seehofer added.

His intervention may hearten British Prime Minister Theresa May, who has repeatedly told the European Union to consider Europe’s safety before cutting Britain adrift from its security architecture when it exits the EU in March next year.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in London and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels; editing by Sarah Young