back to article Shared, not stirred: GCHQ chief says Europe needs British spies

The head of GCHQ has publicly called for security co-operation with Britain's EU allies to continue after Brexit. In a speech made at NATO's Brussels headquarters yesterday, Jeremy Fleming pointedly said that the intelligence agency has "worked with our European colleagues to share understanding of how to protect our …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yay, "taking back control" is great!

  2. Matthew Smith

    Pooh to intelligence sharing

    I'd rather have cheaper beer at 'Spoons.

    1. Avatar of They Silver badge

      Re: Pooh to intelligence sharing

      All that lovely imported beee... oh.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Pooh to intelligence sharing

      You're not suggesting that you actually believe Tim Martin's promises are you? I think you'll find that they're about as reliable as the bus was.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Pooh to intelligence sharing

      What's the betting that most of the hops used in British ale are either imported, or picked by immigrants?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Security Shared, not stirred: GCHQ chief says Europe needs British spies"

    That's OK, they're all working as consultants through private contractors, so available to anyone with £2,000/day or so to spare (plus expenses).

    Yes, senior field guys and analysts are that well paid.

    The ones in the civil service are by and large just doing clerical / admin work so are just overhead really. The same applies to any other Western service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Security Shared, not stirred: GCHQ chief says Europe needs British spies"

      I'm glad I'm in IT :D

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Barnier bombastic bullshit

    Michel Barnier is using any scare tactic that he can think of to try and hurt England in the Brexit negotiations, even if it ends up hurting the rest of the EU as well.

    He claims that he is not trying to punish England, but this is exactly what he is doing. He does not display the desire to get something that is best for everyone but seems to want to make it as painful as possible - I suspect to discourage others leaving, eg Spexit or Grexit.

    Still, we can't expect honesty from a politician.

    .

    The above is not a comment about Brexit being a good or a bad thing.

    1. 8Ace

      Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

      I think your constant references to "England" rather than "UK" says enough about your probable leanings on Brexit !

      1. Joe Harrison Silver badge

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        It's a paradox - the average pro-Brexit person will give you the standard line about how we should take back control of our borders and kick foreigners out etc. Any suggestion that England leave the UK for the same reasons is met with a sudden attack of union patriotism, stronger together, etc.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        If it was only England leaving the EU (or England and Wales, since both voted for it) then no-one would really care. I'm Irish, working in Scotland and even though both NI and Scotland voted Remain, they're getting dragged out. I'd rather see a hard border built from Carlisle to Berwick than along the Irish Border or in the Irish sea.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

          "I'm Irish, working in Scotland and even though both NI and Scotland voted Remain,"

          Oh, please. Stop with the parochial "we voted remain" argument! Where do we drawer the line at the size of constituency where we can say "it" voted leave or remain? If you want to argue by nations level, then why not argue for county level? Some significant county level votes in England were for remain, as was at least one NI county vote for leave. Try drawing borders around them too. Or maybe divide by Parliamentary constituencies. Maybe Scotland, NI and London should all get to remain? You happy to keep London as the "Remain UK" capital.

          Disclosure: I voted remain in one of the areas voting very strongly for leave. It's also a strong Labour bastion, ie Labour have been in power almost since it's formation, so I'm used to being in the minority.

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

            @John Brown (no body)

            Why not draw the line at the nations who get to vote on their membership of the United Kingdom? If Scotland had voted to leave in IndyRef 1 it would all have left the UK. If Northern Ireland has a border poll then under the Belfast agreement they also go as a unit.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

      He apparently wants the EPP to pick him as their Spitzenkandidate for Commission President in next year's European elections. And so talking tough wins him friends in the European Parliament.

      But you also have to remember that there are different negotiating styles going on. Barnier and the Commission like to make lots of noise and talk tough, and ocassionally put out "leaks" of talks between May and Juncker to ramp up the media pressure. Even if they're actually closer to a deal in private. As has happened with previous rounds. To put public pressure on the UK government.

      For some reason May has refused to play that game, and apart from being obviously pissed off over Galileo, the UK government has mostly just taken the hits and said nothing in public. Obviously you've got the mouthy back-bencher types shouting from the wings, but the main players haven't engaged in the same kind of tactics.

      So we may be closer to deals on some of this stuff than it looks. The Commission are doing the negotiating, but the treaties place the competency with the Council of Ministers, not the Commission. So they get the final decision. So why not play good-cop bad-cop? The only part of negotiations that falls under the Commission's competency is the trade talks, and they've refused to even start those yet. So we shall see.

      France wants closer security cooperation with the UK. And did before the Brexit vote, and still does. Partly because they know they can't really rely on Germany (who refused them access to transport planes during the Libya crisis for example). However France also wants to grab the UK's share of the Galileo work, so may be playing both sides, or may actually want to do that stuff bilaterally with the UK and not through the EU. Or just be trying to get two contradictory things at once? It's not like different bits of governments don't end up screwing each others' strategies up all the time or anything...

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        Good Lord!!!

        An informed and accurate comment, and it gets voted UP? Reg readers will never cease to surprise me...

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        the UK government has mostly just taken the hits and said nothing in public

        Raises eyebrow.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

      He claims that he is not trying to punish England, but this is exactly what he is doing.

      I am still being punished for resigning my gym membership; they still won't let me use their equipment, keep dragging me out.

      On top of that I'm now being punished by my insurance company who say I have to cover the cost of my claim myself just because I refused to pay for their policy.

      I say "punished", but they keep saying "consequences". Arseholes.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        Jason Bloomberg,

        Shit analogies are still shit, however many times they're repeated. A bit like all that crap with music copyright being like cars/shoplifting/whatever.

        Being in or leaving the EU, is only like being in or leaving the EU. It's a unique organisation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

          Yet again another of one of those "For" and "Against", or if you want, "Leave" and "Remain" discussions. Which TBH, are just as gridlocked as they were in 2016. You just have to scan the ElReg archives for confirmation. But with all this finger pointing, name calling, or even internal parliamentary intrigue and power struggles, one thing as a Scandinavian becomes clear to me:

          Where the rest of the world has moved on, the UK apparently is kind of stuck in its own bubble.

          Keeping with the tone of (some of the encountered) discussions and classifications, and "excusing" myself for originating from a different island and my "foreign" remarks, I personally can't help noticing that Andrew Rawnsley in his column in the Guardian described current European sentiments (or the lack thereof?) very well.

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/europe-losing-interest-brexit-soap-it-has-bigger-worries

          But that probably will also be the fault of those nasty foreigners I suppose...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        >I am still being punished for resigning my gym membership; they still won't let me use their equipment, keep dragging me out.

        Not quite the right analogy, you've been paying the gym membership and subsiding others membership as well as paying for new equipment but the gym expect you to keep on paying for this when you don't get use of the equipment and expect you to pay a 10 year cancellation fee.

        1. Avatar of They Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

          Not really.

          You cancel your membership but when you joined the gym you signed an agreement for the next seven years to pay for your membership. Like any gym when you pay, the gym makes use of that money to do stuff that gyms do - like provide new gym equipment (as well as cleaning the showers, paying wages etc) equipment which you yourself make use of during your membership.

          Then when you cancel they ask you to provide the agreed and contracted 7 years before you can leave because that is what you signed and agreed to do. (like any other contract)

          Oh and once you leave you can't have the all the benefits of being a member and you can't then whinge when they close the doors and ask you to stop turning up.

          FTFY

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Just to be clear

            Which gym are we talking about here?

      3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Jason

        Are you still paying for your gym membership 2 years after you left? Are they charging you £40 billion to cancel it even though it's not in their terms and conditions? Are you not allowed a share of the gym equipment even though you've paid for it personally over 30 years?

        Your example was poor

    4. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

      He does not display the desire to get something that is best for everyone

      Actually, he has free reign, why would he not try to get the best for the EU ? I think the EU is tired of always bending over for the UK, worse, the more he hurts the UK, the more he helps the EU. Frankfurt and Paris are going bonkers over the many City banks moving ... all thanks to UK's loss of the passporting rights ... we are talking actual GDP points for Germany and France, here ...

      Grexit will not happen anytime soon, the Greek economy is growing, now.

      Spexit will not happen anytime soon, because Spain is very eager to get hold of new Airbus contracts, thanks to Brexit.

      Frexit is dead, Marine Le Pen showed her complete and utter political ignorance during the last presidential debate.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        You missed out Italexit. Plus the Hungary/Poland/Visegard countries...

        I'm curious as to why so many members want to leave this wonderful organisation. Do tell...!

    5. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

      Regarding Barnier's preparations on negotiations vs Brexit negociators' ones, a picture is worth a thousand words.

      What a bunch of wankers...

    6. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

      ...The above is not a comment about Brexit being a good or a bad thing....

      That's the way it's been interpreted, though.

      You have to remember that, for a Remainer, ANYTHING European is perfect. That includes European politicians.

      This is not because they're stupid. It's a cognitive dissonance thing. They HAVE to believe that the EU is a success, which means working hard to avoid any criticism of it whatsoever. Psycologists have found that providing accurate information actually strengthened misperceptions among the subjects most strongly committed to error.

      It's all documented here: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~nyhan/nyhan-reifler.pdf

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

        You have to remember that, for a Remainer, ANYTHING European is perfect. That includes European politicians.

        Total crap.

        Many remainers, you will find, can see a lot wrong with the EU. They just don't believe that immolation is the best approach for dealing with it.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

          ...They just don't believe that immolation is the best approach for dealing with it....

          Then they're gluttons for punishment. People have been trying to improve the EU for many years. Every time, it just gets worse. The facade of democracy has long gone, and been replaced by Commission punishment - look at Greece and Italy and Ireland and Hungary. The Euro cannot function and is held up by constant rule-breaking. The trading bloc is protectionist, and becoming sclerotic.

          And there is NO interest in addressing these problems at all. That's why leaving is the last option open. We don't want to be there when the ship sinks...

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

            And there is NO interest in addressing these problems at all. That's why leaving is the last option open. We don't want to be there when the ship sinks..

            Time to close that echo chamber that has convinced people that the ship will sink.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

              @ werdsmith

              "Time to close that echo chamber that has convinced people that the ship will sink."

              Is it an echo chamber when evidence is on our side? The words existential crisis have been fastened to the EU for a good portion of its life. Its own presidents and members keep pronouncing how close to collapse it is. There is an echo chamber but it keeps ignoring or victim blaming for the faults of the EU and in great denial of the crises that make up the block.

              When there was the possibility of the EU currency being pushed on our country we 'eurosceptics' were right and proved right against the certainty of the pro-EU. Not because we had an echo chamber but because we didnt fall for the echo chamber. The EU is in multiple crises. The 'EU is wonderful' bubble is just that and shrinking.

              You might as well tell us to close the echo chamber that objects will fall with gravity.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

          @ werdsmith

          "Many remainers, you will find, can see a lot wrong with the EU. They just don't believe that immolation action is the best approach for dealing with it."

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

            @codejunky

            <"Many remainers, you will find, can see a lot wrong with the EU. They just don't believe that immolation action make all those problems worse and gain more problems is the best approach for dealing with it."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I said this the other week and lots disagreed, the people sharing this information are not going to stop and put their countries in danger and the politicians aren't going to pass laws/rules/orders stopping them.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      Common sense says they simply cannot allow one state close to mainland Europe to become a haven for "bad guys". If anything being outside the EU will make our data even more valuable as we'll have slightly different governance than EU member states and thus we'll be under more scrutiny than ever before by our European cousins.

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        more scrutiny

        to ensure there are adequate safeguards on UK held data and judged as a 3rd party not an EU member with national security out outs

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I think doing it through the EU requires some proper legal supervision, rules about data-protection and legal oversight by the ECJ. And the Commission will insist on full compliance with the treaties (when it suits them). But if it becomes politically urgent to budge (say after a big terrorist attack) - they'll ignore the treaties, like they did when it came to fixing the Eurozone crisis. Or the "temporary" breaches of Schengen rules that were allowed after the Paris attacks.

      Whereas doing it bilaterally means anything goes that is allowed by intelligence agencies and the anti-terrorist police. But that's less efficient. As there's no central clearing house.

      On the other other hand, the most sensitive stuff probably doesn't go on EU-wide databases anyway. But only goes to the more trusted agencies.

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    It does not matter what GCHQ think

    If the modern day Gen De Gaulle (aka Barnier) says NON! then the answer is clear. No cooperation, no trade deals, no nothing.

    M. Barnier is clearly under orders to screw us up/do us over/make us regret deciding to leave their cozy little club. I'm sure that he'd rather the UK just disappear into the sea (leaving Eire who will be made to use French as the language to interact with the EU) behind naturally.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think

      Err... Mr Barnier is under orders to deliver a VALID deal.

      Any deal which allows UK member-like privileges without any of the checks which are applied by the ECHR and ECJ to members will be successfully challenged in court and declared invalid.

      So, unless the UK comes up with some mechanics for checks and balances which are palatable to the EU, there will be absolutely no privileged treatment of UK in any area as there cannot be. Even if it is granted by the commission a Schrem will come along and blow a petard under it.

      I have said it before, I will say it again. Davis, May and Boris are trying to put the proverbial donkey behind the proverbial cart. The discussion should START with the definition of the final instance for conflict resolution and compliance checking. Once that is figured out the deal and its scope are plain sailing. If it is not figured out there will be no deal to start off with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think

        >Any deal which allows UK member-like privileges without any of the checks which are applied by the ECHR and ECJ to members will be successfully challenged in court and declared invalid.

        Just because I shop at Asda, it doesn't give them the right to tell me what colour shoes I wear or how to bring up my children. Sovereignty has bugger all to do with trade.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think..."to leave their cozy little club"

      The fact that you refer to one of the biggest blocs in the world as a "cozy little club" (and note US spelling) suggests a major disconnect from reality. At least when the Confederates tried to secede from the Union they were a lot bigger in relation to that union than is the UK compared to the EU.

      Remind me again how that turned out in the long term? Which are the rich progressive states in the US and which are the poor states, on the whole?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think..."to leave their cozy little club"

        Are you suggesting the EU should invade to try and bring the UK back in line? Well it's a thougth I suppose. And might explain why the Commission have insisted that all external EU military missionions no onger be commanded through Northwood. After all, we might notice they're planning something.

        It's a thought I suppose... I mean we haven't had a war with France in ages, so I'm sure the military would be up for it. Do we fight home or away this time? And should I phone the Palace and get them to put the royal claim to the throne of France back in the job title? It was only about 1805 that we dropped it, nearly twenty years after the French had already decided (rather pointedly) that they didn't want any kings - even their own ones. Then again it was George III who gave it up, and he was mad...

        Have you ever considered getting a sense of perspective?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think..."to leave their cozy little club"

          >Are you suggesting the EU should invade to try and bring the UK back in line? Well it's a thougth I suppose. And might explain why the Commission have insisted that all external EU military missionions no onger be commanded through Northwood. After all, we might notice they're planning something.

          In many parts of the world, we'd have had a military coup at some point in the last couple of years.We can but hope.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Coup

            There’s a thought. Dangerous politicians encouraged by offshore interests to ruin our country. Useless/ clueless opposition letting it happen. Is it time for Liz and her generals to temporarily step in and save us from our utterly useless politicians? We should be saved from ourselves for voting for this shower in the first place. I for one will welcome our overlords to come to our rescue.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Coup

              Oh yes... the army and the queen collaborating (!) to overthrow a duly elected government, in order to overturn a referendum decision.

              What a brilliant idea, I can't begin to imagine how that might backfire.

              No, wait a minute - that should have read "I can't begin to imagine how that could do anything other than backfire in the most horrible and explosive way possible".

              If you want to see England (not the UK any longer) led by President Farage, locked in a civil war against Generalissimo Corbyn, then that might be the way to do it. If you'd rather go on living in some semblance of peace, however, it's probably not such a good idea.

              1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

                Re: Coup

                ...If you want to see England (not the UK any longer) led by President Farage, locked in a civil war against Generalissimo Corbyn, then that might be the way to do it....

                Sounds great. I'd vote for that....

                1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  Unhappy

                  Sounds great. I'd vote for that....

                  Except no would be voting for it, would they?

                  That's just the sh**storm they'd find themselves in

        2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think..."to leave their cozy little club"

          ...Are you suggesting the EU should invade to try and bring the UK back in line? Well it's a thought I suppose....

          Didn't work too well the last two times they tried.

          The way the dynamic works on the Continent is that the Germans hate the French, want to invade them, and can't see why the Brits don't join in on their side.

          Perhaps we ought to. So long as the Germans get Alsace/Lorraine, Paris and the Riviera for their towels, I guess that they would be happy to let us have Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy and the Loire Valley. We'll want Calais back, of course...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It worked great the last time Netherlands tried it

            They were even able to pull occupying troops out of London after 18 months because English collaborators had convinced themselves it was their idea by then.

          2. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think..."to leave their cozy little club"

            The EU hasn't invaded anyone, it's secured the peace in Europe since it was created. The last time Europeans mounted an invasion of the UK, it was Netherlands and that worked very well.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think..."to leave their cozy little club"

        >Remind me again how that turned out in the long term? Which are the rich progressive states in the US and which are the poor states, on the whole?

        Hmmm, just remind me what happened when the Sons of Liberty threw all the tea into Boston harbour when the American Colonies were an economic minnow compared to the British Empire ?

    3. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: It does not matter what GCHQ think

      @Steve Davies 3

      since you're writing in the English language, the name of the country is Ireland, you can only correctly use Éire when writing in Irish.

  7. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    On or off the record?

    Bilateral security partnerships are unlikely to change. Our intelligence agencies already work with our allies intelligence agencies. None of that is covered by treaties or EU membership and so none of that is likely to change all that much.

    What will change is the formal intelligence-sharing that is done at the EU level. Which is police-y type intel stuff, more than spy stuff. Which covers organised crime and terrorism. Apparently the UK is the biggest single user of that intelligence database But also contributes more than a third of the data. But to formally stay in that, we'd have to agree to some sort of agreement on data-retention/data-sharing policies and obviously get an agreement operate in that system. To some extent we're a victim of the Commission's demand to leave all negotiation to the last minute. Rather than working on everything in parallel apparently the most important thing was to get us to agree to pay over a load of money. And that left the last year of membership to sort out everything else.

    Although, on the other hand, without knowing our shared data-protection agreement, it's also hard to know what extent that's all practical. A bit like insisting on working out a solution to the Irish border problem before being willing to agree what the actual customs/trade deal is going to be. Which sort of makes it impossible to know what the answer needs to be...

    On the other, other hand, this database won't be all that hard to replicate through bilateral cooperation. Particularly as we provide more intelligence than we consume.

    the more important issue is probably going to be access to things like the new European (read Schengen zone) equivalent of the US ESTA electronic visa thingymajig. And also I think Theresa May would like to stay in the European Arrest Warrant system (which personally I think is almost as awful as our extradition agreement with the US) - and so that might be possible.

    The article has one thing wrong though. We leave the EU next year. I know we're talking about a transition agreement lasting until 2020/21 - and maybe extending that - but that is only to cover limited areas like single market access.

    So for example the Commission have decided that we're no longer allowed to lead any EU military missions, even though we've provided HQ services for all but one of them so far. Or at least we are as members, but during the transition phase no. Until a security agreement is sorted out. Which they haven't started negotiating yet. Apparently we're no longer trustworthy, despite being NATO allies and almost no other EU members having bothered to commit any HQ resources to joint EU military missions. We've also been told that our troops are allowed to join said missions, but we're to be allowed no input into decision making on said missions.

    I actually suspect that a working trade deal is more likely than a security deal. And obviously the shennanigans over Gallileo have pretty much soured relations. So I suspect more stuff will go through NATO, and the EU's defence cooperation will actually become less effective without the UK, even though we've been blocking closer ties. Because the countries that call for a closer EU security relationship tend to be the same ones that then won't spend any money on defence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NATO

      Spartacus, that’s a very long way of saying there may be beggar all impact since we’re all under NATO and that will be leveraged to the hilt to protect our security.

      In fact i think this whole Brexit thing is deliberately intended to weaken the EU / Brussels for the benefit of NATO / Washington.

      Related to this is the aspect that the EU rightly stood up to dangerously big and unaccountable US corporations and now it’s the start of US flexing it’s “full spectrum dominance”. Of course our poodles are barking their orders, you know, that ever so special relationship.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Five eyes

    Would these be the same five eyes that seem likely to be an impediment to obtaining a data protection adequacy agreement?

  9. codejunky Silver badge

    Cmon

    "one of the few remaining pieces of leverage that Britain has to negotiate itself a favourable settlement"

    Still peddling this tripe? It is not helpful because some people really do believe this bull. It assumes a favourable settlement cant be had anyway (had brexit requires no permission) or that we dont have much the EU wants (they did start with demands and keep grasping for anything to negotiate with).

    As for intelligence, its up to the EU if they want to cooperate with us or not. As people have pointed out we are no slouch when it comes to providing intelligence or making use of it. We are also part of NATO so the EU can have its tantrum and the actual countries signed to NATO can keep cooperating to our mutual benefit.

    "leaving the EU but not Europe"

    This is a very important statement that needs to be reiterated to both sides, particularly the EU.

    1. Not also known as SC

      Re: Cmon

      "leaving the EU but not Europe"

      This is a very important statement that needs to be reiterated to both sides, particularly the EU.

      but to the EU there is no such distinction because they see Europe more of a political entity than a geographic one. Leaving the EU means leaving the political frameworks and organisations. The intelligence agencies (etc) are part of the political framework so we leave those as well when we leave the EU.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Cmon

        @ Not also known as SC

        "but to the EU there is no such distinction because they see Europe more of a political entity than a geographic one"

        Very true. But the way the EU sees things or wishes it was Europe doesnt change reality. Leaving the EU means leaving the EU frameworks and organisations yes, but those are the EU's, the political entity hived off from the reality of each country with their own needs, desires and agreements.

        I expect something will be worked out once the EU realise what they stand to lose but if they dont I expect the EU will be worked around by security forces with a job to do not just a political image to project.

        1. Not also known as SC

          Re: Cmon

          @codejunky

          My point though is that there is no such thing as 'Europe' from a political point of view. There is only the EU. If we leave the EU we are no longer part of the political organisation and can not expect any access to the EU structures. If the EU wasn't so tightly integrated then we could deal with individual countries but the reality is what it is. Belgium for example won't do a deal with the UK because Belgium is part of the EU so will negotiate through the EU. Hopefully something will be worked out but to make the claim that we're "leaving the EU but not Europe" so we should still have access as Fleming said seems incredibly naive. Politically the EU is Europe and Europe is the EU.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Cmon

            @ Not also known as SC

            "If the EU wasn't so tightly integrated then we could deal with individual countries but the reality is what it is"

            This is the part I am not convinced. For example the EU is not in NATO and NATO most certainly isnt restricted to Europe as it relies on the US for defence. The US is not in the EU but as soon as Trump said he expects Europe to step up to the plate and actually fund some of its defence the members left puddles in their seats and screamed loud. The UK and France pretty much handle defence and Germany has very few working fighters nor the capacity to deliver them to Iraq so the economic beast is impotent in defence respects. It seems amazing to me that the countries in Europe would want to cut that out regardless of the EU.

            Also countries do defy the EU when it suits, such as Merkel and the migration crisis or France ignoring economic rules. When it comes to security even if the politicians must put on a front I expect the actual services will do what is right for defence instead of pleasing politicians.

            And politically the EU is in crisis. People having more confidence in their own countries than the EU.

            1. Not also known as SC

              Re: Cmon

              All good points and I'll be more than happy to be proved wrong.

              There is one thing you're forgetting though - the bunch of clowns doing the negotiation on behalf of the UK...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cmon

              “When it comes to security even if the politicians must put on a front I expect the actual services will do what is right for defence instead of pleasing politicians.”

              Ah, the very definition of a potentially dangerous Deep State accountable only to itself.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Cmon

                @AC

                "Ah, the very definition of a potentially dangerous Deep State accountable only to itself."

                Not sure why you got downvoted, I gave you an upvote for that. Just as Germany working with the NSA was perfectly fine until Merkel found out she was monitored too. But sometimes governments can just be too stupid to breath and think at the same time and I expect this security issue is one of them, to which what choice do the security services have?

                Preventable attacks will get the politician upset with them while the politician wants to tie their hands.

            3. Kurt Meyer
              Holmes

              Re: Cmon

              @ codejunky

              "...Germany has very few working fighters nor the capacity to deliver them to Iraq so the economic beast is impotent in defence respects."

              Amazingly, their fellow Europeans seem to be completely content with this state of affairs.

          2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

            Re: Cmon

            The EU is falling apart politically. I can't see how anyone can deny that without having both eyes tightly shut and singing 'La-La-La loudly...

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      FAIL

      Still peddling this tripe?

      I looked up the GDP of Europe as a whole and the UK, and their respective percentages.

      The UK is around $2.619x 10^12, the EU is around $17.1x 10^12.

      The to the UK is about 44% and has indeed fallen from its historical 54% high.

      The UK exports to Europe an amount about equal to 50% of its GDP.

      Now look at it from the EU end.

      0.44x2.619/17.1 is 6.73%

      0.50x2.619/17.1 is 7.66%

      So if the EU lost the UK as a market it would have to find somewhere else to sell 6.73% of its GDP while the UK would have to replaces bout 50% of its' totals export sales.

      Still think the EU gives a f**k about the loss of the UK as a market?

      It took me about 5 mins work to work this out using Google and Wikipedia.

      Now, you were saying?

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Still peddling this tripe?

        Given that internal protectionist trade stifles innovation, while world-wide trade encourages it, I suspect that the EU would MUCH rather be in the UK's position of finding new markets in the real world rather than having to support the French and Easten European inefficient agricultural economies....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still peddling this tripe?

        I saw a good infographic about exposure to brexit (worse case) - Britain can expect a 15% hit to its GBP, Ireland 10%, Malta about 7% and everyone else gets well under 5% (I think Slovenia won't even notice).

        Actually not all trade will stop so the real impact will be about half that, basically knocking Irish growth to 0 for 2019/2020 unless all the new export markets in the middle east pay off.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Still peddling this tripe?

          ...I saw a good infographic about exposure to brexit (worse case)...

          If you haven't noticed by now that ALL the predictions about economic effects have been wrong so far, and that they are ALL made by people who have an interest - either pro or anti - so are going to be biased, then I suggest that you start to learn rapidly...

      3. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Still peddling this tripe?

        @ John Smith 19

        "Now, you were saying?"

        I was commenting on the security 'issues' of Europe. What are you replying to?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still peddling this tripe?

        @ John Smith 19

        in what situation are you anticipating ALL trade between Britain and the EU will cease?

        The issue is what level of tariffs the EU insists on, and what impact those will have on existing trade.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Holmes

          The issue is what level of tariffs the EU insists on, and..impact..on existing trade.

          Because worst case analysis is all UK goods going to the EU are priced out of their markets and the UK retaliates.

          Yes I think that would be very childish. Didn't stop Trump putting 25% on steel imports to the US, did it?

          This is the sort of scoping exercise David Davies should have done but didn't.

          It would have answered the question "How well can the EU really do without the UK to export to?" The answer is "quite well." It would also answer how well the UK could do if it couldn't export anything to the rest of the EU. The answer is "not very well at all."

    3. bitten

      Re: Cmon. Not leaving Europe

      As far as I know Russia isn’t leaving Europe either.

  10. mwnci

    Maybe Europe should invest in it's own capabilities? It's always giving NATO the snub nose and not meeting it's treaty obligations and investment in military capabilities (happy for the US to bank-roll the defence of Europe). Then wants an EU ARMY, i'm not sure what the logic is behind that, maybe that more Administration means more capability (though I rather suspect that left leaning Europe doesn't like the US, and it's dominance in NATO makes it wince!).

    British Intel is superb, the US love it, it's always after it, it's one of the reasons 5 EYES was setup - none of them are EU Countries. If Europe want to freeze us out...oh well their loss.

    Hackerville is in Romania (Râmnicu Vâlcea)....Romania is in the EU since 1 January 2007....EU does nothing. ITALY in the EU, NAPLES run by the Comorra, anything done? NO. Breakaway secessionist elements in Catalan...err...lets just sit this one out. Hungary ordered to open border to let refugees to germany despite EU rules saying they must be processed in the 1st EU Country they arrive in.

    This conflation that the EU is good at Law enforcement or provides security is utter bollocks at every level. The Belgian Police would be comical, if it wasn't for how tragic all of the cases in and around Brussels have been. I respect the French Police, they are serious and capable, but they are also (like Britain) somewhat circumspect with rules, and do what they want as they see fit (which is fair enough).

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      ...British Intel is superb, the US love it, it's always after it...

      ...and it's readily available for sale to the highest bidders. Who, just recently, have been Clinton and the Democratic party.....

  11. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    "..worked with our European colleagues to share *illegally gathered data on our citizens* to protect our *failing regime and political system*"

    TTFY.

  12. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Negotiations are ongoing amid attempts by EU-aligned MPs in Parliament to keep the UK a part of the EU's core institutions in what they see as a rearguard action to stop the cliff-edge catastrophe of leaving the bloc"

    There. Fixed it for you.

  13. tiggity Silver badge

    optional comment

    Given the number of UK terrorist attacks that have subsequently been found to be committed by someone "known to the security services" (with their monitor everyone approach, we are all known to them!), whilst personnel are wasted on infiltrating / hacking non dangerous groups such as CAAT (anti arms trade), environmental groups etc, EU probably just think "meh" as UK security services seem a bit dismal at filtering out "proper threats" from among the chatter of many disgruntled people who think the UK is crap in various ways

    Frankly theres nothing to stop me claiming that my pet cats, fitted with secret recording devices *, have befriended many animal loving terrorists and helped thwart a numbrer of terrorist plots, as in security services style, no evidence needed, just a claimn with zero evidence.

    * amazing what operations a Vet with a gambling problem will agree to perform out of hours if you slip them a nice brown envelope

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: optional comment

      Almost every serious terrorist attack has been by people "known to the security services". This shows that they're doing a reasonable job - so long as they also stop some. But it's an argument for a police state, if you want to stop all attacks. And that isn't worth the price.

      The point is that every time you investigate someone, you find that they have lots of contacts. You can't investigate everyone, short of having a police state. So each time, you look at those contacts and make a decision on where to prioritise your limited resources. So you try and pick the ones who are most active or threatening and move the investigation on to them.

      This gives you a broad picture of a group of people who might be involved in, or on the edges of terrrorism. But most people who get involved on the fringes go no further. However, obviously some do. And unless your intel people are magic, they've going to miss some of those, and waste time investigating some who go no further. The alternative is locking people up without trial on suspicion only. Which is unacceptable. The downside of having good intel, is the bad headlines after an attack about how you should have done more. Often from the same people who criticised you for being too intrusive in your investigations in the first place...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: optional comment

        Police state? We're too close to that already, with the Police and Home Office colluding to bring in ever more restrictions on the law abiding.

  14. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Story

    Spook gives speech, telling politicians to get their act together. That's politicians on both sides, which is what it'll take to reach agreement.

    Sounds fair enough to me. Unlike commentards descending into tired old arguments about which particular politicians (and views attributed to them) are right or wrong.

    Since the UK is revoking existing arrangements, it seems reasonable that the UK should start the ball rolling in proposing a replacement. That means a white paper (or equivalent) from the civil servants, not armwaving from politicians. Except ... the civil servants are supposedly answerable to the politicians, and anything they produce is useless if the politicians can't get their act together and endorse it.

    1. mwnci

      Re: Story

      He's not a SPOOK whatever that is...SPOOK is a US term for a SPY....HE ISN'T A SPY!!!!!

      GCHQ really isn't a SPY shop, it's an ELINT / SIGINT aka British signals intelligence agency - Yes that feeds the Intel picture, but they aren't an Field Operational Intelligence gathering unit with Spy's that go to foreign fields to gather it. This endless conflation has to stop.

      MI5 is not SIS (aka MI6). Neither is GCHQ the same as MI5 or SIS (MI6).

      Same as...The FBI is not the CIA....The NSA is not the CIA.

      Different roles, responsibilities and remits. It's fundamentally very basic, but almost no-one in the media gets it right, and so the public spout this crap.

      The term Spook was obviously heard, by a writer of the series and adopted as the UK title for a series on UK Intelligence Agents. Spook is an Americanism, chiefly from the CIA for people completely off the books, no records, so not even officially recognized as an Intelligence Officer.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Story

        Are you sure? I thought spooks had just been generalised slang for anyone vaguely involved with intelligence for decades. I remember it from Edge of Darkness (the brilliant 1980s BBC TV show - not the rubbish film from a few years ago).

        I take your point about people mixing up terms though. It's a specialist area, with much arcane jargon - but which carries very meaningful differences. Spies get locked up or shot, intelligence officers under diplomatic cover get a week to pack their bags and bugger off out of the country with all gin and tonic privileges at the Foreign Ministry building cancelled.

      2. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Spook

        He's not a SPOOK whatever that is

        In modern parlance, that's exactly what he is. You may not like it, but language evolves. Would you like to suggest an alternative?

        Dammit, I'm usually the one fighting a rearguard action against corruption of the language. In this case I use the word because it seems a decent enough word where no traditional alternative exists (so far as I'm aware). It has the additional virtue that this usage isn't confusing or damaging any previous meaning, as sometimes happens when a word gets re-purposed.

      3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Story

        GCHQ really isn't a SPY shop

        n:

        1. To watch or observe secretly: was sent to spy out the enemy camp.

        2. To discover by close observation: "[They] are continually prowling about on all three decks, eager to spy out iniquities" (Herman Melville).

        3. To catch sight of; see: spied the ship on the horizon.

        v:

        1. To engage in espionage.

        2. To investigate or observe something, especially in secret: spying into the neighbor's activities.

        Of course spying is what dirty foreigners do, we just gather intelligence on people for their own safety.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Story

      >>Spook gives speech, telling politicians to get their act together.

      But the dishonourable members of the OmniShambles cabinet have had enough of so-called "experts." So he'll just be ignored.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Story

        >>Spook gives speech, telling politicians to get their act together.

        But the dishonourable members of the OmniShambles cabinet have had enough of so-called "experts." So he'll just be ignored. .... Dr_N

        Governments ignores intelligence at their personal peril for such invites military type coup intervention preparations and special executive force operations? ........ https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2018/06/20/blockchain_bitcoin/#c_3547816

  15. SamX

    French satellite businesses

    For Galileo, they already made up their mind to award new contracts to French businesses to replace UK (other EU states lack expertise). Access to secure high-res signals are now under debate. However, to avoid paying UK's money back, they like to keep Britain as as an observer. Now, T.May has to decide whether to take this, or insist for the money back. US is waiting for the right 'bad' moment to strike a deal with the UK, like the ones that they did during WW2. Penicillin was made available free of cost, and yet UK had to borrow war ships on a long-term loan. $10b alternative to GPS is a bad idea.

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: French satellite businesses

      Money back? Why? It's UK decision to leave EU, UK has to deal with the consequences.

      If you book a room in a hotel and leave in the evening, good luck to have a refund.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: French satellite businesses

        What if you leave because the hotel is about to fall down?

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: French satellite businesses

      For Galileo, they already made up their mind to award new contracts to French businesses to replace UK (other EU states lack expertise).

      The "UK businesses" doing the Galileo work were part of Airbus Defense and Space, most of their sites are in Germany. So the work will stay within this mainly EU company, just move to its EU sites.

  16. mbiggs

    EU Partnership - Fleming needs a history lesson

    Quote: ""Almost everything that we achieve in GCHQ is dependent on our partners," said Fleming..."

    *

    Yup...but not including GCHQ hacking Belgacom:

    - https://theintercept.com/2014/12/13/belgacom-hack-gchq-inside-story/

    With friends like the folk in Cheltenham, who needs enemies?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: EU Partnership - Fleming needs a history lesson

      To be fair it was dependent on our Belgian "partners" not having very good security

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: EU Partnership - Fleming needs a history lesson

      ...With friends like the folk in Cheltenham, who needs enemies?...

      The folk in Cheltenham do. Without enemies, they have no job.

      That's why they're trying hard to create some....

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: EU Partnership - Fleming needs a history lesson

        Without enemies, they have no job.

        That's why they're trying hard to create some....

        That's why they invented North Korea

        An imaginary land with a brutal repressive dictatorship keeping their people in ignorance and starving poverty - but somehow able to be an existential technological threat to superpowers everywhere.

  17. _LC_
    WTF?

    Yay! Let's wag our tail every time the master from overseas calls. Go doggy, find them weapons of mass delusion. Good doggy! :-P

  18. Nano nano

    Half-eaten cake ....

    Oh dear, we'd better send Uncle Nigel and Uncle Jacob round, to explain that Leave Means Leave .....

  19. Hans 1 Silver badge
    WTF?

    The EU does not need NOR want anything to do with 5 Eyes

    Access, however filtered, to Five Eyes intelligence for the purpose of thwarting terrorist attacks and disrupting political groups is one of the few remaining pieces of leverage that Britain has to negotiate itself a favourable settlement by the mid-2020s, when the country is expected to have departed the EU.

    Hm, UK has leverage ? No, the UK has absolutely no leverage whatsoever in the Brexit debacle.

    Does the EU like 5 Eyes ? No, they spy on all European communications, have spied on Merkel, FFS!!!, have carried out industrial espionage, ask Airbus, and I could go on.

    Mr Fleming, I think you should consider decommissioning the installations you have in the UK that spy on us on the continent before Brexit comes into effect or I think you will have a massive diplomatic problem with an entity 10 times greater than the UK.

    Checks date, not April 1st, hm,

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: The EU does not need NOR want anything to do with 5 Eyes

      ...or I think you will have a massive diplomatic problem with an entity 10 times greater than the UK....

      ....who we've beaten twice in a World War already.....

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: The EU does not need NOR want anything to do with 5 Eyes

        @ Dodgy Geezer

        "....who we've beaten twice in a World War already....."

        You've beaten the European Union twice in a world war?

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: The EU does not need NOR want anything to do with 5 Eyes

        ....who we've beaten twice in a World War already.....

        OK so I realise that's a tongue-in-cheek comment but the last time round left the nation virtually bankrupt, massively in debt to USA and took decades to recover, which it eventually managed to do after joining the common market.

      3. Holtsmark

        Re: The EU does not need NOR want anything to do with 5 Eyes

        "....who we've beaten twice in a World War already....."

        The UK not being forced to surrender was very much due to circumstance (that you happend to have the English channel between you and the German Panzers) and lots of help from other countries and / or the people of these countries who were your allies or became so in order to conquer the Axis powers.

        Fighterpilots from all european nations (and even some US volunteers) helped win the battle of britain.

        Norway, who were then the world's 4th largest shipping nation, sacrificed it's mercant fleet in order to keep the UK supplied during it's darkest hours, Resistance fighters all over Europe kept the UK updated, often loosing their lives in Gestapo torture chambers for dong so.

        Reading Brexiteers pulling put WW2 and animosity to Germany as a reason / backdrop for their phobies is sad, because it is plain out wrong. WW2 was wan through European cooperation, and the EU was born out of this.

        The UK is not so unique, it is just another nation that has succumbed to the echo-chambers that modern connectivity has created. I dearly hope that we will all learn to deal with this problem, and that the world can return to some degree of normality after this decade of self-induced extremism.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snowdon revealed how various security agencies spy on each other's citizens, then share data in order to evade laws protecting citizen's rights. Just think what GCHQ could do for the EU post-Brexit, by spying on all the "subversives" who aren't pro-EU or against further integration. What could the EU offer in return?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Well there's that subversive organisation the WI. They're bound to be up to something. Nobody makes that much jam unless they're using the vats of boiling hot sugar to melt down the bodies of their opponents...

  21. YARR
    Boffin

    Post-Brexit border crossings

    If the EU insists on a hard border with Northern Ireland, what about (Greek) Cypriots who have to cross Dhekelia? Will pre-EU border arrangements apply, or will they face a double border-crossing each way? Will goods have to be transported by sea to avoid paying double tariffs?

  22. scrubber

    Not happening

    Merkel's calls to babestation are clearly a deal-breaker.

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge
  24. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    ..GCHQ chief says Europe needs British spies..

    British spies need jobs. Ever since the Berlin Wall came down they have been short of a justification for existence.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Ken 16 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Belgium is certainly looking for some of them

    Do you think GCHQ can help them prosecute the Belgacom hackers?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019