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
Credit: 
PA

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.