Sir Richard Dearlove, who has previously said he is “happy” with Brexit, made the comment during an interview with online magazine TheArticle. The veteran spy chief also criticised former Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed EU exit deal, which he argued would have handed too much power over defence policy to Brussels.
Instead Sir Richard claimed the UK is the European leader in security matters, and this should not be undermined.
Referring to Mrs May’s proposed Brexit deal, which Parliament rejected, Sir Richard claimed defence companies “had been lobbying her in terms of retaining a favourable position in Europe, so that if European defence was to take off as a concept, the UK would be in a favourable position as a supplier of equipment”.
He added: “So I really chose to lobby on the other side of the equation and we shifted a lot of people who had no understanding on the issue.
“But I also objected that there had been no debate in the Commons, and a lot of people hadn’t read the small print in the withdrawal agreement.”
“The leader in the intelligence and security in Europe is the UK" (Image: GETTY)
MI6 headquarters in London (Image: GETTY)
“And as for security and intelligence issues being left to anything European I mean, forget it - it’s a completely farcical idea.”
Sir Richard was head of MI6 between 1999 and 2004.
His period in control included the aftermath to the 2001 9/11 terrorist attack in New York and Washington D.C. which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Ahead of the 2017 General Election Sir Richard warned against voting Labour telling the Daily Telegraph “how profoundly dangerous it would be for the nation if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister”.
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)