During the Home Secretary' statement on EU opt outs on Tuesday 9 July I drew attention to the importance of European co-operation on crime and against people trafficking and challenged her to commit to staying within Europol. Here is the exchange
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): The Home Secretary referred to Operation Golf and the human trafficking operation, which was carried out by some individuals in Ilford. Will she take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that it is essential that we remain within Europol and that any move to take this country away from the European Union would damage that co-operation?
Mrs May: As I am sure the hon. Gentleman is aware, the European Commission has brought forward a proposal for a new regulation relating to Europol. We propose to opt back into the current Europol regulation. The new regulation would allow the possibility that Europol could in future direct police forces across Europe, and notably our police forces, in order to undertake investigations, so they could be mandated by Europol at the centre. We believe in operational independence for our police forces here in the UK and are not prepared to see Europol being able to mandate them.