Theresa May’s Brexit deal will “threaten the national security of this country in fundamental ways”, the former head of MI6 and ex-Chief of Defence Staff have warned in a letter to grassroots Tories.
Sir Richard Dearlove and Lord Guthrie claims the withdrawal agreement will put aspects of UK security “in foreign hands” in a devastating letter to chairmen of Conservative Associations across the country.
Downing Street described the claims, which echoed concerns raise raised by Sir Richard in November, as “completely wrong”.
The intervention comes five days before MPs will finally vote on May’s deal, and Brexit backing Tory MP Owen Paterson, who has already said he is opposed to the deal, described it as a “devastating warning”.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted "people should pay serious attention" to the warning.
The letter reads: “Buried in the agreement is the offer of a ‘new, deep ad special relationship’ with the EU in defence, security and intelligence which cuts across the three fundamentals of our national security policy, membership of Nato, our close bilateral defence and intelligence relationship with the USA, and the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.”
It goes on: “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.”
In response to the letter, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minster said: “The claim is completely wrong, nothing in the withdrawal agreement or our political declaration cuts across Nato, our defence, our intelligence relationships with the USA, or the Five Eyes alliance.
“In fact our deal delivers the broadest security agreement the EU has with any of its partners.”