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Former MI6 Head John Sawers: Brexit could pose long-term problems for British security

Britain’s ability to track intelligence targets could be limited by its departure from the EU, he said

By Jay Elwes  

John Sawers arriving at 10 Downing Street in 2013—when he was head of MI6. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive/PA Images

John Sawers, the former head of MI6, is worried. I spoke to him at his offices the day before Boris Johnson gave his optimistic speech about Britain after Brexit. Sawers, however, did not share the Foreign Secretary’s upbeat mood, in particular when it came to keeping Britain safe once we have left the European Union.

“My concern on the intelligence and security front is over the exchange of data,” Sawers told…

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