The suggestion of EU intelligence sounds more like an oxymoron than an idea that could be taken seriously, but worryingly it is a proposal that is in the process of serious consideration. Even more worryingly these proposals could force Britain’s intelligence services to share sensitive data with other EU countries.
As described in a headline in the Daily Mail on Friday, 8th August, 2008, Brussels is planning “Europe’s CIA”. These proposals would force MI5 and MI6 to share intelligence which would go into a EU central intelligence unit enabling any member state to use it. This would put at risc any hard won intelligence gathered by British agents being leaked to some far less scrupulous security services.
Due to our long standing special relationship with the USA, British intelligence has been privileged to have access to some very sensitive US intelligence which the Americans would not want, or trust, other European agencies seeing. If the UK is forced to share this information the Americans would have to consider what information is passed on to the UK possibly leaving this country exposed.
According to Duncan Gardham writing in the Daily Telegraph, Thursday, August 7th, 2008, British intelligence services are preparing to fight these European Union plans. He states: “the idea of handing over intelligence to Brussels with the prospect of little in return and the risk of compromising sources has sent shivers through the security services.”
Paul Cornish, an expert in international security at the Chatham House think-tank said: “The difficulty with the EU is that it is a complex organisation and there are risks in sharing information with countries like Bulgaria or Hungary that it will end up in other hands.” Much of the intelligence gained could be of ordinary British people which the EU could have access to.