International Security Review of Brexit and Potential Consequences
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) on June 23rd, popularly dubbed ‘Brexit,’ will have a significant impact on global economics, politics, and security. Whether the change will be for better or worse remains a mystery, despite intense and diverse speculation by experts. Brexit appears to be a choice where the security concerns facing Great Britain, including the issues of migration and terrorism, weighed heavily on voters.
Some executive travel security and international security professionals believe that Brexit will negatively impact security in the UK, the EU, and possibly the world. Several US Cybersecurity experts believe Brexit will hamper compliance and data protection efforts, as Britain will no longer be obligated to follow the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Once outside the EU, Britain would have to enact its own regulation, and it is unknown whether this will align well with the GDPR. In addition to issues with data protection and compliance, some experts state that a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Europe may occur as a result of new labor laws post-Brexit. Because Britain will no longer be part of the single European market, companies will have to divert resources to visas and legal paperwork for employees. Finally, several intelligence experts argue that the Brexit will hamper intelligence sharing capabilities and cooperation between Great Britain and the EU. The former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, Sir John Sawars, has stated that Brexit would result in the UK being shut out of data sharing decisions made within the EU, weakening Britain’s intelligence capabilities.
Could Brexit Benefit Corporate and Executive Travel Security?
On other side of the issue, some experts argue that Brexit will minimally impact security within the UK, and in some instances may even enhance it. Some intelligence officials assert that the EU’s counterterrorism intelligence effort is grossly ineffective; British intelligence agencies do far more than their share of the work. Brexit would enable British intelligence to work unfettered, perhaps bolstering their cooperation with US intelligence. At the very least, they would continue to do what they have always done: excellent work and a lot of it. Furthermore, Great Britain’s geographical separation from the rest of Europe has always made its borders less permeable, and the break from the EU would do little to change that one way or another. Finally, as a counter to arguments about intelligence sharing, several experts believe the UK and Europe will enact new sharing agreements despite Brexit.
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