WATCH: Michael Howard tears apart idea that being in the EU makes Britain safer

MICHAEL HOWARD, the former Conservative party leader, has dismissed claims that remaining in the EU makes Britain safer, saying such arguments are based on conjecture and not facts.

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Lord Howard, who also served as Home Secretary to John Major, criticised the argument of former MI6 boss Sir John Sawers that the EU provides a “legal framework” for data sharing which in turn helps keep Britain safe.Sir John said: “The reason we would be less safe [if the UK voted to leave], is that we would be unable to take part in the decisions that frame the sharing of data, which is a crucial part of counter-terrorism and counter-cyber work that we do these days, and we would lose the abilities of things like the European Arrest Warrant.”He told the Andrew Marr show: “We are only secure because the wider Europe is secure, pulling out will make it more dangerous.”

But on Radio 4 Lord Howard hit back, describing Sir John’s comments as “wrong”.

All this is conjecture and people are screaming out for facts

Lord Howard

“What Sir John has said is based on conjecture,” he said. “It’s based on the conjecture that we won’t be able to make perfectly satisfactory arrangements on data sharing when we leave.””We have more to offer than the rest of the EU. Our intelligence services are by far the best and most effective in the EU.”Lord Howard also dismissed Sir John’s claim the EU provides a “legal framework” for data sharing.

“There is no legal framework for the way in which we share data with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.


On Monday  for families across the country and said Brussels had been crucial in keeping the peace in Europe.”The serried rows of white headstones in lovingly-tended Commonwealth war cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe.”Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt?

“Is that a risk worth taking?

“I would never be so rash as to make that assumption.”

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