John Sawers and Jonathan Evans are wrong to argue that we're safer in the EUby Michael Howard / May 25, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Former MI6 Chief—Brexit would not damage UK security
The last few weeks have seen a bewildering array of experts on security line up on both sides of the Brexit argument. The Remain side have turned to John Sawers, a former director of MI6, and Lord Evans, a former director of MI5. The Leave side have sought support from Richard Dearlove, another former director of MI6, David Hayden, a former director of the CIA, and Ronald Noble, a former head of Interpol.
How is an interested observer to make sense of all this? And should security even play a part in the Brexit debate? After all, the decision of the European Council that set out the terms of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation said that security is a matter for the member states.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case with the European Union, these words cannot be taken at face value. They are completely at odds with the attitude of the European Court of Justice, which has become a direct threat to our security. So it is essential that these issues become widely known as the referendum approaches.
Among many such decisions, the Court has ruled against the UK refusing entry or deporting EU citizens who are suspected of involvement in terrorism. It is also impeding Home Secretary Theresa May from deporting Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law, who was convicted of attempting to smuggle a SIM card into prison for him.
And, in some ways most seriously of all, it decided that the UK’s opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which Tony Blair assured us that he had achieved and which David Cameron promised to negotiate, had no effect and did not exist.
One consequence of this is that part of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, which May said was “crucial to fighting crime, protecting children and combating terrorism,” was struck down by the Divisional Court as being inconsistent with the Charter. The surveillance regime provided by the Act has now been referred by…