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_45572767_000055501-1What is Europol? Well it’s like Interpol – Inspector Clouseau  and that sort of stuff.

Interpol was established in 1923 and covers 190 countries.

Europol is the European equivalent. OK lets get serious….

This is the introduction to the Europol website

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens. We do this by assisting the European Union’s Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism.

Large–scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU and to the safety and livelihood of its people. The biggest security threats come from terrorism, international drug trafficking and money laundering, organised fraud, counterfeiting of the euro currency, and people smuggling. But new dangers are also accumulating, in the form of cybercrime, trafficking in human beings, and other modern-day threats. This is a multi–billion euro business, quick to adapt to new opportunities and resilient in the face of traditional law enforcement measures.

Bob Wainwright, the director of the EU’s law enforcement agency said: “If you put at risk any part of the framework for international police cooperation and intelligence sharing, that Britain currently relies on, then there clearly is potential for consequences.

“I think there are some pretty serious security consequences actually.”

He added. “If we accept that the EU does provide an important part of our security … then the debate moves on to how do we mitigate that potential loss, so it becomes a damage limitation exercise.”

Also the former heads of MI5 and MI6 have warned that leaving the EU could undermine “our ability to protect ourselves” from terrorists.

Baron Evans of Weardale, the former director-general of MI5, and Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6, say Brexit could also lead to “instability on the Continent”, compounding the current “economic difficulties, the migration crisis and a resurgent Russia”.

In an article for The Sunday Times, the former spy chiefs warn that a vote to leave could damage intelligence sharing because the EU would restrict surveillance powers if the UK were not in the union.

To see other posts about our EU membership ( there are obviously 54 others, this being number 55) click EU membership summary And if you think any of them particularly relevant then please feel free to reblog or share them.