Intelligence Chiefs: Brexit Will Not Affect European Security Cooperation


Intelligence chiefs from all three countries have confirmed that Brexit will not affect the security cooperation of the United Kingdom with NATO allies in Germany and France.

Last Friday, the three cited intensifying external threats to the stability of the continent in a rare joint statement from the heads of France’s DGSE, Germany’s BND, as well as MI6.

They stated: “The chiefs … said that all three services would continue to be close allies in jointly protecting Europe from threats such as Islamism, terrorism, organised crime or cyber-attacks.”

After meeting at the Munich Security Conference, they added: “This would also hold true… in view of Brexit.”

The European Union and the United Kingdom have promised to continue their cooperation on security issues through institutions such as Eurojust and Europol, even after Britain leaves bloc on the 29th of March, with or without a deal.

Last Month, the UK government turned down the proposed withdrawal agreement and are now closer to finalising an alternative deal to leave the bloc, raising the potential of a disruptive no deal Brexit that could negatively harm relations.

While the trio has denied that any result will affect their relationship, a proposed “operational cooperation” between justice and police systems remains vague.

Officials of the United Kingdom did warn that a no deal Brexit could be a backward step in terms of security cooperation.

The head of the MI6 foreign intelligence service, Alex Younger, stated: “Our security relationships are unconditional with our European colleagues… We need each other. This is a two-way street and that isn’t going to change.”

He stated: “The relationship that exists between us and our European partners is closer than I have ever known it in my 30 years as an intelligence officer. Brexit doesn’t fundamentally alter those relationships.”

Bernard Emie, the Director General of France’s Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), said that the three countries had to reinforce their cooperation despite the political environment amid the unprecedented threats against Europe.

Emie stated: “The European continent is under growing threat of interference and external aggression.”

He added: “These challenges cannot be dealt with solely at a national level. They need a strong and coordinated response … especially from our three services.”