Former MI6 chief warns over security cooperation with EU

Sir John Sawers has warned that Brexit negotiations have reached ‘an extraordinarily damaging state’ because unnamed Downing Street officials have been briefing that the UK might withdraw security cooperation with the EU.

Speaking to reporters at the Digital Transformation EXPO Europe conference, the ex-MI6 chief said that any attempt to stop working with EU countries in tackling terrorism ‘would be an act contrary to our own self-interest’, describing Europe as ‘our defence in depth’ and arguing that friendly countries gained considerably from sharing intelligence on terrorism.

He said that intelligence sharing is ‘a team game’, where you ‘gain more by pooling information’, adding that helping European countries denied terrorists a wider space in which they might otherwise operate. He concluded that it would be extraordinary if relations between the UK and the EU collapsed to the point where security cooperation were to be withdrawn.


View the latest
digital issue