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'Brexit' could leave Britain vulnerable says Europol

Britain's citizens could be left more vulnerable to attacks by terror groups and organised crime gangs if they decide to leave the European Union, the continent's policing agency warned Monday.

"I see a very clear picture of the United Kingdom's dependency on the EU to help protect its security interest," Europol's director Rob Wainwright said in The Hague.

Should Britain leave in a so-called "Brexit" it will "no longer have the benefits that it currently has," Wainwright told reporters in The Hague, speaking on the sidelines of a conference on combatting migrant smugglers into Europe.

This included "direct access to our database, the ability to involve itself into our intelligence projects and many other areas," he said.

Europol's warning follows remarks by British Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend that a Brexit would offer "risk in a time of uncertainty."

Britain would be "safer, stronger and better off" in the 28-member bloc, Cameron said Saturday after announcing June 23 as the date for a referendum on the issue.

The issue has deeply divided Britain's ruling Conservative Party with five cabinet members as well as London's outspoken mayor Boris Johnson supporting the "Leave" campaign, and the country's continued security is a key issue.

Read more: Flash - 'Brexit' could leave Britain vulnerable: Europol - France 24

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