Sharing data and security information

I find it strange that three Heads of Security Agencies had to speak out for fear that Brexit would damage exchanges of information between France, Germany and the UK after Brexit. Why should it? They would have to want to change their current procedures, or their governments would have to stop instructing them to make sensible exchange.

It is already the case that if the UK gets intelligence about a threat to lives in France it will tell the French authorities and vice versa. There are data sharing agreements, based on what we can usually share with due consideration of how each Intelligence service protects its own sources. The UK belongs to the Five Eyes grouping of the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada where trust is even stronger and the sharing has gone further, and that will clearly continue after Brexit.

This seems to me to be another non problem, unless the EU side wants to make it a problem. As we have high quality and extensive intelligence it is unlikely they will want to reduce the flow of information, so they can just agree to carry on. The information share is usually bilateral anyway. Issues in the UK should be adjudicated by our court, and issues on the continent by their court.

An Extradition Agreement might be a better route for bringing suspects to trial in another country rather than trying to continue with the Arrest Warrant, where ECJ jurisdiction would be a problem.

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104 Comments

  1. Kipper
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    The usual Redwood. We are leaving the EU, but if things then get more difficult for us, that is entirely the EU’s fault.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      It won’t be us holding back security information that is important to the west.

      It shows that Remainers are bitches.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I’d say it was just as much the fault of those UK politicians who allowed the EU to ever intrude into areas such as security. If you recall we were in EFTA as a regional trading bloc, but then our politicians decided that we should transfer to the EEC on the stated grounds that it would be a better trading bloc. Not because it would be a better vehicle for collective security, or for a more effective fight against terrorism, but because it would give better exporting opportunities for British companies. The flaw in all this has been for the UK government and Parliament – our politicians – to promise one thing in the 1975 referendum on whether to stay in the EEC, but then refuse to hold any fresh referendums when radical changes were being made through new treaties, starting with the Single European Act.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Not so. Just as free trade arrangements around the world, such as that between Australia and NZ, show you don’t need political union and common government to have free trade, so the five eyes security arrangement – and in fact NATO – show you don’t need it for security cooperation. These are all manufactured problems.

      • Richard1
        Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        James delingpole has an interesting podcast with Peter Lilley which I can recommend. At the end Lilley recounts a story – Helmut Kohl had apparently argued in c 1990 that the U.K. should join the euro as “it made war less likely”. The absurdity of this claim was illustrated when the late Woodrow Wyatt reportedly asked the then German ambassador to the U.K. whether that meant, logically, that if the U.K. didn’t join the euro, war was more likely. We see the same utter nonsense at play today. The truth is we don’t need political union for any of: free trade, friendly relations, cooperation in all sorts of areas such as security, and easy travel. It’s just a straight forward political choice – do we wish to be part of the emerging EU political union or not? All the rest is guff.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      kipper

      Why is it difficult for us? Its the EU that is potentially not wanting to share our intelligence, a commodity you seem to lack

    • getahead
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      You don’t do logic then, Kipper.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      May I please add this ?

      The PM never fails to amaze !

      However, the Prime Minister is keen to exploit the EU’s agreement that, in certain areas, Britain can diverge once formal EU withdrawal takes place next March.

      However, it is unclear what practical difference pulling out of the joint policy-making arrangements will make . . .

      During her speech, Ms May softened, slightly, her “red line” that Brexit must end oversight by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) at some point during a two-year transition period.

      Looks like she is rolling over again 😉

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    As you say “another non problem, unless the EU side wants to make it a problem”

    The current EU Arrest Warrant is an appalling outrage as indeed are the US extradition arrangements.

    Ed Milliband the silly dope who lumbered the country with the dreadful climate charge act and his pathetic tomb stone (threatening to defraud landlords or their assets) was on Newsnight pushing a universal income. Something that could actually be sensible if done well – even Milton Friedman sort of supported it. Tax and benefit simplification is certainly needed.

    See – Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax

    • Richard1
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      It is a good idea if and only if 1) it is structured as a negative income tax with UI withdrawn for every £ earned, meaning there is always an incentive to work, 2) that it replaces ALL benefits so the benefits system is far simpler and 3) that it is introduced with a flat rate of tax and the closing of all tax loopholes such as ISA, pension etc. £10k UI, flat tax at 20% above eg £20k. The savings in cost would be £10bns, due to admin simplicity and 100ks of public employees would be released for productive work.

  3. Prigger
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    It is frightening if one believes our Intelligence Services are headed by anyone we can name, photograph or know anything about.

    • PaulDirac
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The EU is pushing for the data sharing process to be subject to ECJ.
      The pretext is that a subsequent action may be taken by persons which were subjects to this data exchange. This judicial action must then be progressed under ECJ (EU claim).

      This is a solution which the UK should reject, and point out that many states (USA, Australia, New Zeland …) have data exchanges with the EU, but none are bound by the ECJ.

      After Brexit the UK will be sovereign, no mandatory acceptance of ECJ rulings will be acceptable to us.

    • Adam
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Years ago, a US tourist approached a local London man at night, & asked him: ‘Where is a safe place I can take a walk?’ The Londoner was puzzled for a moment, wondering if the enquiry was concerned with hazards, such as holes in the pavement or rain without shelter, but suddenly realised that high crime in the US was the reason for the tourist’s asking. The Londoner replied automatically: ‘Anywhere’, knowing that street crime was rare, & far from most citizens’ thoughts. Today the reply would be very different.

  4. DanB
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    No..I don’t see it..we voted to leave..to take back control of our borders..we don’t need to keep up security arrangements with the EU side again at any level apart from NATO..that’s what taking back control means..closing our borders and looking after ourselves

    • Peter Wood
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Exactly DanB. NATO provides our security; the EU is not a nation and has nothing to secure except its overblown bureaucracy.
      As the EU is fond of saying, we cannot “cherry-pick””, in which case our fellow European Nations cannot cherry-pick the best bits of the United Kingdom, such as our armed forces and our security information, or for that matter our fisheries and airspace. It is one. When will our Government have the courage to negotiate as a world power?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      So if UK intelligence had information about a planned terrorist attack in Paris what would you do? Would you warn the French authorities, or would you stand back and allow innocent French people to be blown to bits? Or would you be prepared to warn the Australians about an imminent attack, but not the Austrians? Both are counted as friendly countries at the moment, and if Austria became a hostile power then that would be the choice of the Austrian politicians – probably following eurofederalist German and French politicians – and it would not be our preference.

    • Adam
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Controlling our borders allows us to defend ourselves efficiently. Human decency motivates us to help protect our neighbours from peril too.

      It would however be sensible if our neighbours did not expose themselves to needless risk. Danger can penetrate any opening in their very long perimeter to hit everyone within it.

      Critics have been puzzled by Mrs May’s suggesting that ideology is a risk to security, wondering what she might mean. Cynics claim she intends using UK security cooperation to bargain for trade. Yet if each other EU nation acted to protect its own perimeter from criminal ingress, they would secure a better deal for themselves.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      In fairness, it could be argued that modern, global capitalism guarantees a certain amount of prosperity and peace. And that the new wars and battles are social – dysfunctional society, and neighbourhoods and families, greed and selfish individualism (as opposed to work ethic + hard work + sense of public duty + patriotism), violence, crime, drugs, binge drinking and self-indulgent hedonistic behaviour in general as well as crass culture, psychological depression and the rest.

      I accept all that. But if so, these are the real wars and battles. Not whether we’re in or out of the EU. Not forgetting that the old problems of the 20th century certainly do still exist to a degree. I mean we only very nearly escaped an economic depression, which could have led to disastrous consequences political and social consequences in our country, and further afield. Again, we come back to global politics which Brexiters so often seem ready to ignore.

      And if we want to leave the EU, fine. But first we have to build up our economy first. Have a strong leader in place able to unite the country behind Brexit with a strong plan. This is nothing more than good, old common sense. Whether British or otherwise.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Apologies, I don’t mean to be or sound rude or OTT.
      But when you consider the nightmare things that happened in the 20th century (everything from Holocaust to the Blitz and WW1 etc), and the nightmare things happening in our society today (broken families, violence, selfish individualism as opposed to sense of public duty etc), then we need to be very careful in our approach to Brexit, with lots of thought, whether it is right or not for our country, whether people voted for it or not.

  5. Harry
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    What’s Eu Security got to do with us once we leave..we’ll only need to look after our own security..they can look after theirs..Mrs Merkel is curious as to where we are going with all of this and the PM looked very uncomfortable..perplexed..so the talks are going nowhere..so time to secure our own borders..take back control

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Harry

      So if you saw a burglar breaking into a house in your street, you would simply stand by and do nothing , saying not my problem, or would you ring the police and hope if the boot was on the other foot, your neighbours would do the same for you.

      How would you feel if France or Germany had intelligence of a proposed terrorist attack on a UK target, and did not pass it on to us because its nothing to do with them !!!!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      You can see my reply to your fellow troll above.

    • APL
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      “What’s Eu Security got to do with us once we leave.”

      The EU has no security. They allow hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals into the Continent with out vetting, yet if a Bolivian national applied for residency he’d have to wait six months and jump through interminable administrative hoops.

      There are two models of state security. (1) the old British model where you had a hard exterior shell which was difficult to penetrate, but once you had you were considered British – if a little eccentric.

      And the European (2) – or Soviet model, where everyone was considered a threat to the state and it was necessary to maintain massive documentation of everyone within your border to ensure the security of the State.

      We in Britain with the active support of our Politicians ( viz Theresa May’s various public pronouncements ) have been transitioning from the first model to the second.

      Personally, I’m against this change.

  6. British Spy
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The Rupert Annual Munich Security Conference can only be an excuse for civil servants and others to binge at the tax-payers expense. Code named “Peek-a-Boo here we all are!”

  7. Peter
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    A ‘non problem’ is exactly what it is

    All part of the ‘cannot do’ attitude that forms the basis of the EU negotiating stance.

    A stronger negotiating team would simply walk away. Sadly we don’t display such strength.

    • bigneil
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      PMTM wants a place at the Euro Table of Power, trying to keep them happy, while supposedly trying her best for the UK.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      A dithering, left wing, incompetent, big government, tax borrow and waste, lets build on EU red tape, greencrap pushing, punishment manifesto proffering, electoral liability and an ex(?) remainer is what we have on the bridge. Someone with zero grasp of how to negotiate anything or run a sound economy.

      Lots of brothers sisters and children is quite a good way to learn negotiation skills. That and a bit of reason and logic. She has none of these.

  8. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    On the exchange of information there’s no good argument as to why things can’t carry on as they do now.

    On the EAW, slightly more complex. This came about because of the ease of escape across borders for EU citizens with free movement. We actually want to change this.
    It’s one of those bits of the reason for voting Leave which are ignored by Remainers – the fact that UK citizens can now be whisked off to be tried and imprisoned in countries with lower judicial standards than our own, without any say by the UK government of judicial system. At the same time, we have to accept that we won’t extradite folk from these countries quite so easily now either. The point is, the Leave vote said (along with other things) that it’s a price that’s worth paying, but ONLY if we can tighten our borders to prevent access of convicted EU citizens etc is much the same way as the US does now. That is another distillate from the decision to Leave, but Civil Service pens should be hacking away on that extradition agreement now, under the aegis of Brexit focused ministers, not the Rudd type.

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I cannot understand where the problem is in sharing intelligence as before. If Germany and France want to discontinue this relationship then what signal does that send to the rest of the world? How do the other countries in the EU feel about it? What about EU citizens? Aren’t their lives important and I strongly agree that our courts should be in charge here and that extradition orders are the best way forward. I don’t want to have to pay to keep foreign criminals in our jails.

  10. agricola
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Just another red herring unless of course stupidity reigns on Brexit.

    • getahead
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      I have the impression that Brussels speaks only for Brussels and not the EU. It’s going to turn out badly. It’s good that we are perhaps leaving.

      • agricola
        Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Brussels is the EU. The EU is not the nation states. They are still, hanging on a thread, as nation states. Depending on how the cookie crumbles, or the entrails fall as they say, depends the future of Europe. I would wish them to create a bottom up democracy, because the people of Europe deserve nothing less.

        • Leon
          Posted February 19, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

          I keep hearing the EU will fall apart. But so far the only disunity I can see is in the British government

  11. Andy
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Of course, to you, this seems to be a non-problem.

    But then the heads of the security agencies know what they are talking about – and you do not. Unless you’re really a spy? OO4?

    Now, it turns out that our existing security arrangements as an EU member work rather well. And yet, because of Brexit, we have to (completely pointlessly) reinvent them anyway.

    And this applies to many areas. Brexit, we were told, would turn the water gold and fill the land with purple unicorns. The truth is rather different. It will make most things hard and worse – and this is the inevitable consequence of your Leave vote.

    People who voted leave did so for many reasons. Immigration was the biggest one, of course. But we also hear – particularly from pointy-headed Tory Parliamentary pensioners – lots of complaints about the ECJ.

    But then you ask for some examples of specific ECJ rulings which have harmed the UK and the Brexiteers go silent. They can not name any. They rush to Google and Wikipedia and still can’t find any – at least none that they can understand.

    In the country as a whole nobody knows what the ECJ does. They think it is the ECHR and helps terrorists. Because this is what the Daily Mail has told them. So tell us some bad ECJ rulings which have harmed Britain.. Good luck – I bet none of you can.

    As we found out when you lost in a British Court to Gina Miller your primary objection is all forms of judicial oversight.

    You basically just don’t like being told you’re wrong – which is, amusingly, going to make the coming years rather unpleasant for you all!

    • Edward2
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I don’t mind being told I’m wrong.
      I would just prefer it coming from a UK court rather than a court set up politically by a supra national body over which this country has little oversight or control.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      “You basically just don’t like being told you’re wrong – which is, amusingly, going to make the coming years rather unpleasant for you all!”

      OK big boy how about actually replying to this ?

      53 per cent of business leaders said the UK leaving the EU would be best for the economy overall, 53 per cent said it would be best for the interests of their company and 63 per cent said they favour Brexit on a personal level. http://www.cityam.com/280736/editors-notes-business-leaders-more-relaxed-brexit-than-you …

      Oh looks like you aren’t in tune with reality again Andy

    • Longinus III
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m still enjoying a daily bath in your tears.

  12. Alan
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    This seems to be another confused Brexiter argument. They want to leave the EU but they don’t want to halt the security cooperation – in other words they don’t want to leave the EU. But they do want to leave the European arrest warrant process (a far more efficient method of apprehending offenders than extradition). So they do want to leave the EU.

    It’s no wonder the government can’t decide on a policy. The Brexiters themselves don’t have a coherent policy.

    If we stay within the EU we don’t have to start making all these distinctions, we just keep all the advantages. We don’t have to negotiate all these fine distinctions – “yes, we want this bit, no we don’t want that bit”. What a waste of effort.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Are there no disadvantages to being in the EU then ?

      A large number of people not only voted to leave the EU but forced a referendum, such was the disatisfaction with the EU.

      It didn’t help that morally repugnant court findings and government inaction were always explained by our leaders as being caused by the EU.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      So you think it’s correct that we rely on evidence from Romanian authorities or Greek authorities to extradite British citizens without any say by any British citizen? Then they languish in jails in those countries, which we have no authority to approve or inspect?
      Guess, like Cameron, you can’t wait for Turkey to join the EU.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Looking after British citizens isn’t a confused argument. It’s what we’ve done for a thousand years until 2002.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      ………….But they do want to leave the European arrest warrant process (a far more efficient method of apprehending offenders than extradition)………..REALLY?

      You want to be arrested and subjected to some backward criminal justice system in one of the former communist block or say Greece or Bulgaria. A number of their systems are 3rd world, guilty until proven innocent. Remember the Greek plane spotters and many other travesties of justice. Out of the EU arrest warrant that Ms May opted us into when she didn’t have too. Remember the Magna Cata and habeas corpus?

    • Edward2
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      You are describing a process of negotiation.
      We discuss things then formulate our position then move into negotiations where the other side say what their position is.
      Usually an agreement is reached.
      Sometimes no agreement can be reached.
      We are at an early stage in this process.
      You may think it is a ” waste of effort”
      I don’t.

    • Andy
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      The European Arrest Warrant is an abomination and we need to leave it. The case of Andrew Symeou should give even you pause for thought. We should leave the EAW and conclude bilateral agreements where a proper prima facie case should be made.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        A common currency and valuation also a problem over southern EU. So not much of an issue with commonality then.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Dear Alan–The interchange of intelligence especially with allies is what they call a Good Thing–What you imagine this to be to do with belonging to the Bad Thing which is the EU I cannot begin to fathom–Illogical twaddle.

    • sm
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Factual account:

      in the street where I live, I have some very good neighbours, and our household tries to be the same. We not only frequently socialise, we keep an eye on each other when there are difficulties, we look after each others’ pets when necessary, and we tell each other when we are going to be away for a significant period and take each others’ keys, for security reasons. We share books and CDs and DVDs and concert information (entertainment can be a bit erratic where I am currently in Sth Africa).

      But we don’t take up semi-permanent residence in each others’ homes, and we don’t lay down rules and regulations for how each family choose to live their lives or spend their money.

      The same principles apply to the UK and the EU, in my view.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      That’s right, Alan, there is no security co-operation between the EU and its member states and non-EU countries around the world. None whatsoever, no links at all, and nor could there ever be; so if the EU or one of its member states ever had intelligence about a planned terrorist outrage in, let us say, Canada, then that information could not and would not be shared with the Canadians. Instead your precious EU would be quite content to see Canadians slaughtered, after all Canada is not in the EU, and then various EU notables could make a show of sending their sincere heartfelt condolences. You Remoaners really do come out with the most unspeakable rubbish, it seems that you can never see beyond Brussels.

    • Sam Duncan
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Why do remainers have such difficulty separating “co-operation” from “integration”? Do the Five Eyes agreement and NATO mean that the UK is a state of the USA, subject to its laws, Constitution, and Supreme Court, electing Representatives and Sentators to Congress, its citizens paying its Federal Income Tax? Of course not. The idea is absurd. So why must security co-operation with the EU require that we submit to its laws, “constitutional treaty”, and Court of Justice, elect members to its Parliament, and pay (albeit indirectly at the moment) its taxes?

      Our position is perfectly coherent: when we leave, the “country called Europa” will be dealt with, co-operated with, and traded with in the same manner as all the rest. In some fields, we may have closer co-operation than others, just as we do with the US, Australia, or Canada. And that may mean, as it does with other countries, bilateral, binding, treaties with the EU. But we will not be part of it. Any confusion on that point is due to your friends in the government, not ours.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      I see no confusion at all, except in Brussels, where they are trying to pretend no security cooperation of any kind can exist between NATO allies outside the EU structures they and the ECJ control.
      If they want our continued cooperation – which is extremely valuable to them – they must negotiate more sensibly. We already have our own security arrangements, and they work well.

    • Tom William
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Several countries not in the EU do co-operate with EU countries on intelligence. Before the EU was created European intelligence services co-operated with each other, to a greater or lesser extent depending on reliability and security. They still do, and all “EU intelligence sharing” is on a LCM basis – ie has to be of a quality that it would not be disastrous if something leaked. “EU intelligence co-operation” is just EU PR. Sensitive intelligence is shared – but not with everyone.

      The EAW, where suspects have to be extradited without any legal process in the country of extradition (just proof that a judge/magistrate somewhere wants someone in another country for something that someone thinks has committed some sort of crime) is not a true legal process, like extradition, but is legal kidnapping.

      Imagine the consequences of an EAW with the USA.

      Your posting Alan is, sadly, the view of a Remainer who believes everything in the EU is the best of all possible worlds without knowing the facts.

    • Bob
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      @Alan

      Can you explain to us why the EU cannot cooperate on security issues with non-members?

      Most countries outside the EU seem to manage okay. #FiveEyes

    • Pud
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      John Redwood makes it clear that the European arrest warrant is overseen by the ECJ and the UK has not left the EU if it is still subject to the decisions of the ECJ.
      I’ve never been happy with the European arrest warrant because under it a UK citizen may be arrested by a UK police officer and deported to an EU country without a UK court establishing if there is indeed a case to answer. You might think this is efficiency, I’d prefer to have the protection of the courts..

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted February 18, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Indeed but what is “efficient” about sending someone to be put in prison in another country when they have no case to answer? Surely better to check that first.

    • getahead
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      If we stay in the EU we do not regain our sovereignty and we pay the EU £ 10 billion a year for that privilege. Perhaps you’re not a taxpayer Alan or perhaps you are in the employ of the EU. Either way it does not bother you.

  13. formula57
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I had discounted the musings of the three Heads of Security Agencies and am pleased to receive your additional confirmation.

    Let us hope they are a bit more astute when it comes to protecting us.

  14. Mark B
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This seems to me to be another non problem, unless the EU side wants to make it a problem.

    I think security and defence is more of a problem to the EU than the UK. It was interesting to hear in the Foreign Secretaries speech, that the UK provided the bulk of intelligence and 100% of the long range heavy airlift capacity of the continent.

    No here is a thought. Just supposing the EU had a quiet word with some ‘other people’ on the UK side, to make such noises that we are hearing, similar to that that we should remain in the CU and SM, in order to pressure the UK into conceding on one of its strong negotiating positions.

    As mentioned by someone on another thread here yesterday (apologies to whoever it was), the EU can do without our money, but they cannot do without power and control over us. And I believe that that poster hit the nail right on the head.

    We have, to my belief, a Fifth Column acting in the UK and working in the interests of the EU. There is a word for it, and there use to be a very serious punishment to those who would be shown to act in such a manner. We know who they are, but it high time that they were told what they are !

    • Peter
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      “We have, to my belief, a Fifth Column acting in the UK and working in the interests of the EU. There is a word for it, and there use to be a very serious punishment to those who would be shown to act in such a manner. We know who they are, but it high time that they were told what they are !”

      Thanks for this. I went straight to YouTube to revisit the ‘Jimmys Secret Army’ clip from the ‘Reginald Perrin’ TV programme. Geoffrey Palmer plays Jimmy an ex-army man who has many a word for these people.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      That was evident in the Brussels shootings. Belgian security was warned by the UK but did not act on time.

      We are their eyes and ears.

    • Bob
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      @Mark B

      Why do you think the Blair govt repealed the death sentence for treason?

  15. Ian wragg
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The security services are Establishment on steroids. As with all Remainiac arguments black is white etc. We have by far the most effective security organisations in Europe including Fleet submarines going covert surveillance 365 days a year. The EU cannot always be trusted to handle the intelligence so why should we suffer. The HRA is by far the most ruinous article regarding security and should be ditched.TheECJ has no place after Brexit.

  16. Nig l
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Yes security was another big bad wolf used by project fear, however anyone who had even heard about GCHQ would know that it, and our relationships with the Americans etc, gave us a very powerful bargaining hand when it came to Europe. Once again, if what we read is true, the EU is prepared to let its citizens lose out to protect its political project.

    Off topic but important and current, a searing condemnation of our overseas aid programme by Oborne in the DM this morning. It is no more than the electorate suspected. Successive ministers and complacent virtue signalling MPs should be ashamed.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Agreed – we have an enormously powerful bargaining hand on defence .
      We do not seem to be making best use by constantly giving everything away ‘unconditionally ‘.
      I rather enjoyed an article in Con Home on Tuesday I think suggesting that if the EU cut up rough then we should consider :
      – leaving NATO [ Trump does not like this unequal relationship ]
      – concluding a defence pact with USA
      thereby leaving the EU with sole responsibility for the defence of mainland Europe .
      This would break the EU budget and national budgets who have free-loaded for far too long on the USA .

      Should be welcomed by the EU who would then have a role for its EuroArmy and federalism. At present the EU are confined to thumbing their nose at Russia in the Ukraine from behind the protective NATO [US ] skirts .
      As Boris put it this would be a massive V sign to Europe from the White Cliffs !
      Which we are not doing

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Re your second para,read the Oborne article together with the Soros article a couple of pages later.All the usual suspects are there-Blair,Rycroft,Malloch-Brown,etc

    • zorro
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the EU/EU nations have nothing approaching the scope and ability of GCHQ’s capability in tandem with the NSA. Neither the listening stations or the infrastructure to manage anything beyond their own borders….

      My problem is that May is giving this away for nothing. She should do nothing of the sort and expose the EU’s hypocrisy around the security cooperation argument. Perfectly acceptable security/extradition agreements are in place with non EU which also guarantee some proper judicial oversight. Surprise, surprise the EU processes can be more bureacratic and restrictive than necessary. Joint Investigation Teams can work OK but can easily be mirrored or bettered with common sense by those not blinded by EU fanaticism….

      zorro

  17. alan jutson
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Correct John, yet another problem made by politicians.

    Just sign a document/agreement which says both sides agree to carry on as in the past if that is what is required.

    What are they wanting to negotiate, the price of each bit of information, the value of that information depending upon how important it is, the time scale it should take to pass that information to one another with a rising scale on delivery times, etc etc.

    If it is in everyone’s mutual interest to continue to share information, then do so.

    The only reason to stop is if we are the only ones sharing information, and at the same time paying huge sums to collect it.

  18. Blue and Gold
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It is amazing, although we should not be surprised, that the Wealthy, Elite , Establishment, Brexiteer politicians, which includes the PM, are cherry picking.

    If leaving the EU means leaving the single market and customs union, (both tragic errors), than that should also mean having nothing to do with security with the EU.

    If the above people wish to ‘Control Our Borders’ then that is what it should be.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

      Blue n gold
      The wealthy elite establishment love the EU

    • libertarian
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Blue & Cold

      Er you’re not really understanding this are you? The UK already belongs to an intelligence sharing community ( 5 eyes) Why would you need to belong to the EU to share intelligence data with France or Germany.

      You are seriously telling me that if say the USA became aware of a potential terrorist attack on Paris then the US would need to apply to join the EU in order to let them know….. Remainers…. completely delusional

  19. duncan
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Public servants who make these types of statements should be removed from their post, dismissed and then their pension rights rescinded. Their responsibility is simple. It is to do their job and to do it apolitically.

    They are not tasked to make public statements on political and governmental matters. They are not tasked to question the authority and sanctity of the will of the people.

    They are servants to the public with considerable emphasis on the word ‘servant’.

    They have a responsibility to the crown and to the people.

    Of course if we had a PM who knew her own heart this type of subtle and coordinate interference would not happen. A PM with conviction would simply take the appropriate action.

    With Thatcher we all knew exactly where we stood. With May we are all left in a hinterland of uncertainty, confusion and cloudiness

    As an aside, it is becoming obvious that the EU and UK and indeed foreign based pro-EU entities will not lie down and surrender. Indeed they will fight democracy until the UK backs down

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I wonder how long our Five Eyes security arrangement will last if Corbyn ever gets to No 10, oddly , while UKIP’s leader’s girl friend’s comments are enough to dominate the BBC’s news for days, the possibility of being an agent for the Soviet block during the cold war hardly merits a mention. You might say it is worthy of Pravda.

  21. Iain Moore
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I haven’t heard May’s security speech , but I am hearing that she has said she will put it under the jurisdiction of the ECJ. I hope this is wrong, can you confirm it or not?

  22. BOF
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I have had the misfortune to come across control freaks in my life and I now believe that the EU is just that and everything for them is all about control. In this instance control through the EAW and control through the ECJ and control through an EU defence force. All contrived to gain control over UKs considerable capabilities.

    Totally unacceptable.

  23. stred
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    https://www.interpol.int/About-INTERPOL/History

    The history of Interpol started in the 1920s and the first reference to the EU was in 2009.
    When the German police picked up the terrorists driving to Paris recently, they did not inform the French and the attack happened later.

    Intelligence on terror is handled through the police.

    Euratom is also not an EU matter but this is used as anti-Brexit propaganda, with threats about non-availablity of cancer treatment from medical lords who should be ashamed of themselves.

    Unfortunately, these lies do take a hold in the minds of those who do not check the facts.

  24. Original Richard
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The EU Commission and its UK supporters believe that attack is the best form of defence.

    So they try to make the case that leaving the EU will make us less safe when it is perfectly obvious that the opposite is true and that having complete control of our laws and borders, especially when the EU intends to fast track Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia into the EU, is by far the safer option.

    BTW, the leaked impact assessment report gave a worst case scenario of a loss of 8% of GDP over 15 years or 0.5% each year.

    Since we are told that we can easily afford a foreign aid budget of 0.7% per year the 0.5% per year needed to give us independence should also be easily affordable.

  25. Mick
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Watched Mrs May speech on security in Germany which was only on sky tv and very informative, bbc being there usual bias self and not showing it, Mrs May stating again she will carry out the will of the people and take us out of the Eu end of.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Our security – and that of the EU , relies on the existence and continuation of NATO . Underlying this relationship is the extent to which our Secret Service operations attracts and retains the highest skills . For many years now we have been joined at the hip with the USA in the exchange of information and the work these agencies do and , most of the time , it has yielded positive results . Europe has benefited from this background and they would be very foolish to prevent or hinder activities ; in the future there is more to fear from the infiltration of terrorists than the likelihood of war ; undercover intelligence is the right approach in controlling and preventing it .

    The links that exist with Europe of intelligence work can not and will not stop with Brexit . Certainly it will not be us to change or to restrict this liaison . There are no borders in the activity of terrorism or international crime .

  27. Epikouros
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Another hype in the ongoing Brexit propaganda war. So obviously so it has to make one wonder about the competence of the people who make such transparently stupid claims. Especially as they are not just some ordinary blokes pontificating down the pub but people of importance and high responsibility. Then perhaps it is not that strange as we allow all sorts of inadequate personages to govern us and have power over our lives. In fact there is the possibility that at the next election we may make Corbyn prime minister then we will have succeeded in putting those with the least ability in charge of everything.

  28. Atlas
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    UK nationals require protection from being ‘fitted-up’ in EU countries by unscrupulous types. So have an extradition treaty – but one with real safeguards.

  29. Newmania
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Every problem that arises from wishing to have all the advantages of EU membership whilst paying none of the costs , poltical and pecuniary, is not a problem unless the EU makes it one.
    Those are words devoid of meaning . On this ,as with the rest of it we need detail s from a trustworthy source .That would not include people like John Redwood and the other extremists of the new Brexit state.
    Information is not shared in the basis of “I reckon that might help”;it is shared according to specific agreemnt . If that insitutionalised sharing has been under the EU umbrella then we must attempot to negotiate a replacement
    Clearly a third country is a less trustworthy entity and that will obviously have implications
    It really isn`t so very hard to understand

    • Richard1
      Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      So how do you think the five eyes agreement works, with much more extensive data and info sharing but no political union?

    • libertarian
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      No it isn’t hard to understand, but never the less you seem to be struggling.

      Sharing intelligence data doesn’t require a super state, membership of a trading block or belonging to a federal area . Its actually mutually beneficial to all the countries involved in and outside of EU or NAFTA etc

      • Newmania
        Posted February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Well you say that6 but the Five Eyes Agreement required a World War and a subsequent real nuclear threat to be brought into being .
        Sharing information about free citizens with foreign countries is no small thing and with a country that is not of a mesh of alliances the risk is obviously greater .
        Why , for example would the UKL not share information about EU citizens with the USA ?
        That is a question that will now have to be asked as, in fact , it already has been when there was forum for such problems to be discussed . Now there is not

        As a third country we are out of the club and information sharing about EU citizens clearly poses a quite different question .

        You are suffering from a delusion which takes all the advantages we have form the EU as a starting point but our starting point is nothing .

  30. APL
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    JR: “I find it strange that three Heads of Security Agencies had to speak out for fear that Brexit would damage exchanges of information between France, Germany and the UK after Brexit.”

    British deep spy state. Since they are going to be reading this post before John Redwood does, they should just shut up and do the job their are tasked with within the budget they’ve been allocated. If they can’t, they are welcome to resign.

    I’d like you opinion about this article at the BBC, URL of BBC article ( a supposedly reputable news provider follows )

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43043925

    Why is our European Union foreign policy stance founded on the lies of European politicians?

    What sort of person will accept the hospitality of someone, then tell lies about that person once he’s been wined and dined.

    Why do we (EU) have this sort of individual impacting our relationship with Russia?

    Why are our politicians, this time I’m thinking of Boris Johnston trying to damage British relations with Russia?

    Is it responsible?

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It may come as a surprise to many ordinary people elsewhere across the EU that until we voted to leave Theresa May had always been in favour of us staying in – albeit her support for that could be described as lukewarm – and rather than being one of the instigators of our withdrawal she has just rather reluctantly accepted the duty of executing it because that is the way the vote went on June 23rd 2016. So this kind of image representing Brexit as her ill-formed newborn baby is displaying a lack of understanding of that reality:

    http://www.eureferendum.com/images/000a%20Carnival-013%20Brexit.jpg

    In particular she was always keen on getting us entangled with EU measures on Justice and Home Affairs, one of the most repellent being the EU Arrest Warrant which gave a foreign magistrate the power to order the arbitrary arrest and summary deportation of a UK citizen without having to provide any prima facie evidence of his guilt.

    So I was not impressed to hear her praise that system in her speech this morning.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Her point was that in 2016-17, 196 persons were arrested in the EU on warrants issued here; of course, when rapists, murders and assorted gangsters from the EU, can enter our country as qualifying persons under the four freedoms, it is hardly surprising that we would want them to return to face the music after they’ve gone about their business; however, even better would be to stop allowing undesirable aliens to enter our country in the first place.

  32. Chris
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Why is Theresa May even contemplating this? (Security Conference, Munich)
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/920215/Munich-security-conference-EU-foreign-aid-budget-Brexit-Theresa-May
    UK taxpayers could STILL pay into EU foreign aid budget after Brexit, Theresa May reveals

    PRIME Minister Theresa May has hinted that the UK could still pay cash into the EU’s foreign aid budget AFTER Brexit. “Mrs May said she was “open” to the Government contributing to EU aid programmes at the Munich Security Conference today.

    She made the remarks in a speech in which she said “Europe’s security is our security” and called for a post-Brexit treaty with the bloc.

    The Prime Minister indicated she is also “open” to the UK deploying assets on EU countries’ missions abroad, suggesting she wants to develop a further relationship with the EU defence fund….”

    • McInestry
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Yep. In Munich Mrs May has told us that the red line on the ECJ and on our money is not red, or a line, any more.

  33. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    My impression from the speech was that it was being made by a Europhile and a globalist who is being forced kicking and screaming out of the EU and sees this issue as a way a of making a new treaty connection when one is not needed. She seemed to be saying the EU needs us more than we need it but neverless we’ll concede our advantage to perzuade it to sign up.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    And here’s a related item:

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/920092/brexit-news-eu-remain-win-brexiteers-die-labour-lord-malloch-brown

    “Former government minister and United Nations official Lord Malloch-Brown chairs the Best for Britain campaign part-funded by billionaire financier George Soros.

    The peer said he was “profoundly” motivated by the feelings of his children, their friends and the youth groups his campaign was working with.

    He said: ”They are all really angry with older people.

    “They feel utterly betrayed – and they feel that the actuarial rules of life are moving in their favour and that within a matter of four, five 10 years, they are going to be an overwhelming majority in this country.”

    What he forgets is that with age can come greater wisdom, and these young people may well change their views as they grow older … but more to the point, why is US citizen George Soros being allowed to interfere with our politics?

  35. Goalie
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The perennial seemingly unsolvable problem for all intelligence agencies is discovering why when you switch on the TV News, Crime Drama, Movie, Business programme, and lately LIVE Winter Olympics you mysteriously find yourself either watching people playing football or listening and watching ex-footballers talking about football…and how the Russians have infiltrated all our cultural programmes with a load of balls.

  36. agricola
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I see no problem with the Arrest Warrant providing it is put before a UK court regarding accused in the UK. Those raising the Arrest Warrant should be required to put sufficient evidence before the UK court to justify it’s existence. The principal of innocent until proved that there is a case to answer should apply. The ECJ should only have authority within the EU.

  37. Dennis
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    By leaving the EU have there been discussions on whether UK citizens will be able to breathe EU air if we travel there? – I have heard nothing about a quid pro arrangement on this very important topic.

  38. BartD
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    What is it John? have you got a secret wish that somehow you still want to be connected to the EU? Why not let it go?- we are going to leave..having a good security service will be best served after brexit for securing our borders etc and if we don’t share Intel with other countries- we don’t need other arrangements- it’s what we voted for so don’t bottle it at this stage

    Someone in the conservatives higher ranking should tell Theresa May that along with her statement of there not being another referendum- the people voted for taking back control and that means not sharing anything including security with european countries.

  39. NorthbyEast
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Is that it? is that all Mrs May has to say in her big speech? So just a sideshow..looks like we’re going to have to wait until Barnier speaks again before we find out what’s really going on..Security is important- we know- but it doesn’t cut it with all of the other considerations going on.. i would feel much more confident if I heard the Secretary for International Trade, Liam Fox, give us an update on how his plans are going for trade deals with our new international trading partners than Mrs May still dragging the rear end out of brexit negotiations with nonsense talk about european security.

  40. BartD
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    So it’s becoming more clear now- Mrs May wants a bespoke security agreement, presumably she thinks that this will open the flood gates and lead to other bespoke arrangements..but I don’t think this is going to fly with the EU and in any case she should know better- the UK voted to leave and leave means leave- it doesn.t mean half leave or leave and then join again in some other way..conservative MPs have a special duty to remind her of that

  41. Peter Davies
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Protecting our 5 eyes status for me was a good reason in itself to leave. Had we stayed and our security organisations were eventually morphed into something European I have severe doubts we could have carried on as a 5 eyes member.

    The eu is very good at obfuscating their obvious weaknesses in defence, security and finance with the help of 5th columnists in the uk. History will not be kind to the eu.

    I only hope the brexit department is preparing all the W T O schedules needed so we can trade as an independent countty and they’ll be ready to go next year.

  42. mancunius
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    After admitting how important security cooperation is for the EU, note how quickly Juncker insisted it should not be included (or ‘confused’ to use his weasel word) with the other elements in our negotiation. He pretended to be unflustered, but you can always tell Juncker when he’s telling a lie: his lips move.
    So now we know their weak spot. Up guards, and at ’em.

  43. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I have no idea what is going on with my computer, but of course the above is incorrect: Europe must read “Europol”. Pse delete this comment.

    • Longinus III
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      PICNIC.

  44. Ian wragg
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Just a reminder of the parlous position our energy supply is despite a 50% increase in the number of stupid windmill.As we speak they are supplying 1.76 he or 4.2% of demand.
    If the wind doesn’t blow they don’t generate.
    Politicians aren’t taught that going their PRO degrees.

  45. zorro
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    “There are data sharing agreements, based on what we can usually share with due consideration of how each Intelligence service protects its own sources.”

    Indeed, a big nothing burger……EU states and Five Eyes and a couple of others are able to share intelligence effectively between each other and, last time I looked USA is not in the EU!

    zorro

    • Tom William
      Posted February 18, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Which is not true, see my comment above.

  46. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The agencies and organisations for cooperation on security and defence existed before or in parallel with the EU. What the EU seeks is centralised political control. It takes over, for example Europol, for that purpose. It is all part of the move towards complete supra-national government and the formation of the Federal State of Europe.. It is not aiming for greater expenditure to improve defence. It is instead aiming for ousting US influence and taking centralised political control. Similarly on security, its aim is not to improve capabilities but to take political control of national capabilities.
    One of the many mistakes UK’s government is making – apart from keeping the monstrous EAW – is to put defence and security into the pot along with trade as just another bargaining chip. they must not be traded one against the other. Defence and security of the UK – not the EU but the UK – must take priority. the economy is there to support it, not the other way round.
    The second mistake is to allow the EU the role of the sole forum for European Defence. It is not. NATO is. UK must insist that its commitment to European defence is made through NATO, not through the EU. According this role to the EU is to give the EU the status of a nation state. Ironically its ambitions rest on the total subordination of the nation state to this supra-national government.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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