Theresa May 'prepared to use intelligence services in Brexit negotiations'

Posted On: 
4th October 2016

Theresa May is reportedly preparing to play hardball over European access to Britain's world-leading intelligence services as part of the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

GCHQ in Cheltenham is at the heart of the UK's intelligence infrastructure

In her opening address to the Conservative conference, the Prime Minister said she wanted any deal "to include cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism work”.

The line could be read as a warning to EU states, many of whom rely on the UK to warn of potential terror threats.

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A government source told the Sun it was a legitimate tactic to use Britain's spy networks as a bargaining chip in any talks on a trade deal with the EU.

“The deal the PM wants will be all encompassing, so that means everything we do with the EU should be on the table – what they need, and what we need," the source said.

“Why shouldn’t we include intelligence in that, explicitly or implicitly? It is one of our strongest suits.”

Leading pro-EU campaigner Chuka Umunna hit out at the suggestion that security co-operation could be threatened by Brexit.

“It would be completely counter-productive for either side to approach these negotiations wanting anything other than a continuation of the close co-operation on security matters we currently enjoy," the Labour MP said.