MI6 at the heart of Brexit negotiations
TruePublica Editor: EU officials raised concerns after the UK obtained the contents of an unpublished slide show presentation within hours of a meeting. These are the reports of The Telegraph and Daily Mail. The headlines present themselves as some sort of shock report that somehow Britain has been spying on Brexit negotiations. Wouldn’t you be surprised, disappointed even, if they weren’t?
The story has emerged that Britain’s external spy agency MI6 has been at it again at the heart of Brexit negotiations in Brussels. Given that MI6 routinely spies on what they consider to be anti-establishment organisations such as Greenpeace, StopTheWar and any other oppositional voices, it would be hard to believe MI6 was simply sitting back doing nothing when it comes to an existential crisis. Brexit provides Britain with an unprecedented threat to national security, not just economic but diplomatic as well. In this case, for once, if MI6 and every agency of the state was not working in complete harmony to ensure the best outcome, I would be astonished. And frankly very disappointed. What do taxpayers pay this unaccountable multi-billion pound band of James Bond game-players for in the first place? Actually, if anything, we should all be disappointed they got caught red-handed in the first place. Amateurs.
As far as the Brexit negotiations are concerned, Britain needs MI6. In March last year POLITICO reported that some EU countries believed Britain was so ill-prepared for the early rounds of the Brexit negotiations that it must be laying a cunning trap. Two days ago, POLITICO reported that some in Brussels continue to believe this. However, this is no longer the view from within Brussels right now.
Tom Montague from the Brexit Files at Politico writes – “Britain is simultaneously the land of the smartest operators and a bunch of idiots being marched toward a cliff edge.” On this, he appears to be right on the button. One way or the other, we’ll all find out in March as Britain’s pulls the trigger on its own game of Russian roulette.
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Last October, Martin Selmayr — the most senior official in Brussels — was so concerned that British secret services were spying on him that he had resorted to taking hard copies of documents rather than emailed exchanges to avoid intrusion. Again, if any senior official thinks that the spying networks of all affected EU member states, plus the US are not deeply involved in these activities, they would be naive beyond belief.
According to the Telegraph, Brussels has now put a ‘fierce new secretary’ outside the secure Brexit meeting room in Brussels to collect phones and other electronic devices.
IntelNews – who provide comment on the surveillance and intelligence agencies said:
“Fears of espionage were raised by Sabine Weyand, a German EU official who is currently serving as Deputy Chief of the European Council’s Article 50 Working Party. On July 13, during a meeting of the European Council, Weyand reportedly said “it could not be excluded” that British intelligence agencies had found ways to listen in to the closed-door meetings of EU Brexit negotiators. Weyand and other EU officials became suspicious after London appeared to be privy to information discussed on July 5 at a closed-door meeting of the Article 50 Working Party. Weyand told the European Council that the information had reached London “within hours” of it having been presented in Brussels. Just hours following the secret presentation, senior British government officials were reportedly lobbying in public against the information contained in it.”
Their report went on to say that: “a spokesman for the European Commission, which operates as the EU’s cabinet, did not deny that concerns about espionage were raised by EU Brexit negotiators. When asked by reporters in Brussels about the allegations, the spokesperson responded: “The Commission’s position today is that we cannot comment on these press reports”.
As the press conference was taking place, British negotiators were arriving in Brussels in order to resume the latest round of Brexit talks with the EU’s Article 50 Working Party.