Trump re-election could threaten UK’s national security, claims ex-MI6 boss

Politics

The former head of the UK’s secret intelligence service has warned the return of Donald Trump to the White House could pose a “political threat” to Britain.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Philips, Sir Richard Dearlove said the re-election of the former US president would be “problematic” for the UK’s national security due to his issues with NATO.

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Mr Trump has been a long-standing critic of the alliance – made up of 29 European and two North American states – claiming other members have not paid their way, and even threatening to pull out of the longstanding partnership.

But in the years since he left office, NATO has become increasingly important on the world stage amid the war in Ukraine, and with the current president, Joe Biden, giving it his backing.

Image:
Sir Richard Dearlove ran MI6 between 1999 and 2004

Asked what big threats the UK should be paying attention to in the coming year, Sir Richard – who ran MI6 between 1999 and 2004 – first pointed to Ukraine, then the “long-term behaviour” of China.

But, he added: “You have to add a political threat, which I am worried about, which is Trump’s re-election… which I think for the UK’s national security is problematic.

“Because if Trump, as it were, acts hastily and damages the Atlantic alliance, that is a big deal for the UK.

“We’ve put all our eggs in defence terms in the NATO basket. If Trump really is serious about, as it were, changing the balance, I mean the American nuclear umbrella for Europe is, in my view, essential to Europe’s security and defence.”

As the US election looms, Mr Trump remains the frontrunner as the Republican candidate – despite ongoing legal cases against him.

As a result, concerns about his approach to NATO have again been thrust into the spotlight.

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Trump calls Germany ‘delinquent’ over NATO

Speaking to Fox News earlier this week, Mr Trump refused to commit to remaining a member, saying it “depends on if they treat us properly”.

He accused NATO of having “taken advantage of our country”, adding: “The European countries… took advantage of us on trade and then they took advantage of us on military protection.”

French European commissioner Thierry Breton also claimed this week that back in 2020, Mr Trump told the European Commission that the US would “never come help” if Europe was attacked and that NATO was “dead”.

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