GCHQ Director Stresses Need For Cooperation With Europe After Brexit

Posted on June 20, 2018

Britain supplied key information to help break up terrorist operations in four European countries in the last year, one of its intelligence chiefs revealed on Tuesday, as the UK upped the ante in the growing row over post-Brexit security. The director of the surveillance agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, speaking on a visit to Nato headquarters, also stressed other European countries had benefited from classified intelligence shared by the UK on cyber-threats. His comments can be seen as a direct riposte to EU chiefs threatening to exclude Britain from access to EU security databases and from Galileo, an alternative surveillance system to GPS, which was built for the US military. It is unprecedented for a UK intelligence chief, especially one from GCHQ who until recently were seldom seen or heard in public, to intervene in a diplomatic negotiation in such a way.

Only hours earlier, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, in a speech in Vienna, warned that after the UK left the union it would not be involved in the European arrest warrant or the decision-making boards of Europol, or have access to EU databases. after Brexit. At the end of discussions at Nato headquarters, Fleming told reporters: “This visit comes at a pivotal time of course as the UK leaves the EU and as we agree a treaty on security to ensure that the UK and EU member states continue to work together to keep us all secure in the future.”

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