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Leaving EU Could Regain Britain’s Safety and Security – Former MI6 Spy Chief | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Sir Richard Dearlove

Sir Richard Dearlove claims Brexit would not hamper UK spies

Sir Richard Dearlove

In two contradicting statements, Britain stands at the edge of whether leaving EU could be advantageous or not.

For instance, the head of M16 foreign intelligence service, Sir Richard Dearlove, says Britain could be on safer grounds if it voted to leave the European Union. The latter supported his view as to the control Britain could grab over immigration by taking that step; noting that Dearlove’s comments followed Brussel’s attacks by few days only.

In contrast, from the other side, Prime Minister David Cameron said dropping out of EU is certainly going to weaken Britain and crack its security, in a time the world’s instability is gradually getting worse. However, Dearlove, head of the Secret Intelligence Service from 1999 to 2004, believes that leaving the EU could not really cause much harm to Britain’s national security and infact could obtain security gains again.

In Prospect magazine, Dearlove wrote; “Whether one is an enthusiastic European or not, the truth about Brexit from a national security perspective is that the cost to Britain would be low.”

“Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights…and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union.”

Thus Tuesday Brussels attacks stirred up Britain’s debate on whether to exit the EU or not, with advocates for leaving claiming the bloc’s open border policy permitted for the killings to take place. Dearlove said the United States would disapprove of a British exit from the EU yet that the relationship with Washington would be restored.

Dearlove added the EU’s national security would be at a disadvantage without Britain, hinting that Britain plays the Europe’s leader role in intelligence and security.

“Europe would be the potential losers in national security,” he said. “But if Brexit happened, the UK would almost certainly show the magnanimity not to make its European partners pay the cost.”

EU security bodies were “colanders” which “must accommodate the slowest and leakiest of the ships of state”, he said.