Quitting the EU ‘would help our security’, former MI6 chief suggests

Sir Richard Dearlove said: ‘The truth about Brexit from a national security perspective is that the cost to Britain would be low’

Leaving the EU would improve Britain’s security, a former head of MI6 has suggested, as a series of serious intelligence blunders in the run-up to the attacks in Brussels emerged.

Sir Richard Dearlove said that Britain’s borders could be strengthened in the event of a Brexit and extremists could be more easily deported, moves which he said were “security gains” with little apparent downside.

His intervention, which contradicts claims from the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary that EU membership makes Britain safer, helped intensify the row over the security of Europe’s borders in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

On Wednesday night there were reports that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) had sent 400 fighters from Syria to Europe, where they can move freely across the Continent with the aim of carrying out terror attacks.

It also emerged that Belgium was warned that one of the bombers was a “known militant” by the Turkish authorities, who arrested and deported him. The Belgians failed to follow up the information, according to Turkey.

Sir Richard, who led MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said that Britain may experience “security gains” from Brexit. In an article for Prospect Magazine, he said: “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 – remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque – and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union.

Full article: Quitting the EU ‘would help our security’, former MI6 chief suggests (The Telegraph)

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