EU seeks to prevent British flights from leaving over ‘security risks’
A British-led bloc has demanded that the United Kingdom not allow its flights from London to its main airport in Dublin to be diverted due to a “security risk”.
The European Commission said in a letter to the British government that it was worried about the possibility of terrorist attacks in Dublin and wanted to “safeguard” the EU’s 28 members.
The Commission said it would consider the UK’s response, and that the “proportionate” measures taken by Dublin Airport would “preserve the security of EU citizens and their visitors in Ireland”.
“The Commission is deeply concerned about the security risks posed by British flights originating from London,” it said in the letter.
The European Union has already imposed “travel restrictions” on its member states, and it is unlikely to do so again after the UK left the bloc.
In an attempt to prevent such a move, the EU is proposing a “national security waiver” to allow UK flights to take place, but that does not guarantee the safety of those travelling from Britain to Ireland.
The letter, seen by Reuters news agency, comes days after two men allegedly carrying out terrorist attacks on a train in France were stopped on their way to Dublin.
British police said they detained the two men at the border and have now been released.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who has been campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, said he was “satisfied” that the UK would be allowed to continue its flights to Dublin, even if it is “more difficult” to get through.
“It is very clear that the British Government will do everything it can to ensure the safe and swift passage of EU and British citizens,” he said.
“The EU is working to ensure that the safe, secure and speedy passage of UK citizens travelling to and from Dublin Airport will continue to be possible.”