Former MI6 Chief: May's deal 'places national security in foreign hands'

In a dramatic intervention the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has written to Conservative Associations warning them against backing Theresa May’s EU deal.

The letter, seen by Sky News, reveals that Sir Richard believes May’s deal “abrogates” Britain’s security and puts power in “foreign hands”.

He asks local Tory Chairman to “ensure that your MP votes against this bad agreement” and makes clear his support for a WTO Brexit.

In the letter, co-authored with former defence chief Lord Guthrie, the pair say: “The first duty of the state, above trade, is the security of its citizens.”

“The Withdrawal Agreement abrogates this fundamental contract and would place control of aspects of our national security in foreign hands.

“Please ensure that your MP votes against this bad agreement and supports a sovereign Brexit on WTO rules.”

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Sir Richard has previously said that he is “personally happy to see us ceasing to be a member of the EU” and that he is he “absolutely confident that we can survive and thrive” outside of the European Union.