Former MI6 boss: Brexit would make UK more secure

Posted On: 
24th March 2016

Britain would make gains in security if it leaves the EU, the former head of MI6 has said.

Sir Richard Dearlove’s comments are at odds with David Cameron's last month when he said Brexit could leave the UK at greater risk of terror attacks.

The former spy argued if the UK left the EU, it would be able to keep key intelligence partners and would then be able to control immigration and take legal action.

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“Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters and gives much more than it gets in return. It is difficult to imagine any of the other EU members ending the relationships they already enjoy with the UK,” the former head of the Security Intelligence Service wrote in Prospect magazine.

He added: “With the exception of Europol, these bodies have no operational capacity and with 28 members of vastly varying levels of professionalism in intelligence and security, the convoy must accommodate the slowest and leakiest of the ships of state. The larger powers cannot put their best intelligence material into such colanders.”

Sir Richard also suggested the UK should take the opportunity to “dump the European Convention on Human Rights”.

He argued although the United States may disapprove of the decision, the bilateral relationship would carry on as normal.

“The replacement of Trident, the access to overhead satellite monitoring capabilities, defence exchanges that are hidden from public view and much more would continue as before,” he wrote.