INTELLIGENCE services and the Foreign Office fear that Jeremy Corbyn would risk national security if he wins next month’s election, according to reports.
Senior Whitehall insiders say the flow information Britain receives from the “Five Eyes” alliance would dry up because of a lack of trust in the Labour leader.
Five Eyes is one of the most extensive espionage alliances in history.
Currently, the alliance also includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
Former foreign secretary Jack Straw said that other countries could “lessen intelligence co-operation with us” if Corbyn wins the election, reported The Times.
Although Labour leftwingers would see it as an establishment plot, he told The Times: “This would not be any ‘deep-state conspiracy’, but the human reaction of people who give their careers to keep us safe, some-times at serious personal risk to their own lives.”
The Americans would be very wary indeed about having the same broad confidence in intelligence sharing
One former permanent secretary with close links to the intelligence services said: “It would have a chilling effect. That would put us at greater risk.
“The Americans would be very wary indeed about having the same broad confidence in intelligence sharing.”
The concerns stem from Corbyn’s perceived support for anti-West states and his opposition to Trident.
Back in April, Corbyn was branded a danger to Britain after signalling he would scrap Trident in a car-crash interview with Andrew Marr.
Corbyn went against his party’s official position by saying he was not sure a promise to renew Trident nukes would be in Labour’s election manifesto.
Several former defence chiefs, Labour cabinet ministers and high-ranking diplomats have since expressed their concerns over Labour moving to 10 Downing Street.
The former defence secretary Lord Hutton of Furness confirmed that a Corbyn premiership would “place a major question mark over the continued operation of a vital source of intelligence.”
He said: “It’s impossible to look at it with anything other than extreme alarm.
“His views on Nato, his anti-Americanism, his failure to support any single British military expedition since he came into parliament, his opposition to nuclear weapons and his support for Putin’s Russia — his world view is completely at odds with every postwar Labour leader.”
It’s impossible to look at it with anything other than extreme alarm
Lord Hutton of Furness
Whitehall sources have also claimed that Labour leader’s director of strategy Seamus Milne could be banned from seeing the most sensitive intelligence if Corbyn wins the election.
It comes as Corbyn suffered a major blow as Brussels blasted his “delusional” plan to renegotiate Boris Johnson’s deal and secure a say over EU trade talks.
EU officials and diplomats told The Sun that Labour’s bid to rip up the rules of the Customs Union so the UK can negotiate FTAs “in conjunction” with the bloc would meet fierce opposition.
They said rewriting the PM’s deal to “adopt a UK mandate with higher ambition”, such as alignment on workers’ rights and the environment, would be “easy” to achieve within three months.
But one EU source warned: “Less straightforward is what the UK may ask on EU trade policy. The first thing would be a UK request for an extension, with a justification for that.”
Another added that Corbyn’s strategy was “not credible” and “as delusional” as Boris Johnson’s pledge to negotiate a trade deal before the end of December 2020.