Sir Richard Dearlove who served as head of British Foreign Intelligence (MI-6) says that if the United Kingdom (UK) leaves the European Union (EU) it will help strengthen its borders and deport jihadists more easily, delivering major security gains with very little downside. Dearlove, who served as head of MI6 from 1999-2004, claimed that recent intelligence blunders in Brussels are an example of why the UK should leave the EU.
His opinion sharply contradicts those of Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May who claim remaining the EU makes the UK safer. Notable Europeans such as Denmark’s Lars Hedegard and Britain’s Paul Weston have openly denounced the EU and said it has created more problems over time.
Dearlove admits that officials in Washington, D.C. would harbor disapproval and disappointment over a British exit from the EU. However, he points out practical considerations in a difficult world that help bind allies together. Washington is fearful that a UK exit from the EU could impact foreign interests in Europe for the US.
General David Patreaus, who led coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later headed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), claimed that in the recent attacks in Brussels leaving the EU would put the UK in danger. General Michael Hayden, another former head of the CIA, refuted that claim saying the UK is better off getting out of the EU, and noted that national security is the responsibility of individual states.
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and one of the biggest campaigners of the Brexit, has come forward and warned that the European Court of Justice are intentionally blocking the government from deporting terrorists and carrying out surveillance operations.
In an interview with Prospect Magazine Dearlove stated, “Whether one is an enthusiastic European or not, the truth about the Brexit from a national security prospective is that the cost to Britain would be low. The Brexit would potentially bring two important security gains: the ability to dump the EU convention on human rights and more importantly greater control of immigration control from the EU.
According to Dearlove, European intelligence blunders are becoming publicly scrutinized by the United States (US) as national security is a top priority for them.
Dearlove does note that by leaving the EU that the UK would lose accessed to the European Arrest Warrant System, which primarily used to target organized crime. He also dismissed the role of European security bodies including Club de Berne, made up of European security services; Club de Madrid, consisting of European intelligence agencies, Europol, and the Situation Centre in the European Commission as of being of “little consequence”, and mainly forums for viewing and analysis. He further most of the 28 states intelligence agencies in the EU leak information like a “colander.”
Britain is the biggest provider to Europe of intelligence and security matters and gives much more than it gets in return according to Dearlove. Despite advanced warnings from the West and Belgium security agencies reported with “high degree of certainty” about potential bombings at the airport and metro in Brussels authorities in Belgium did little to prevent them.
While the referendum to remain or leave the EU will not be held until June 23, many in the UK may have made their decision after the most recent attacks in Brussels.
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