With a no-deal Brexit looking increasingly likely, Britain’s former SAS chief has followed in the footsteps of other security officials and experts, warning of the potentially detrimental consequences of a hard Brexit.
Ex-SAS Major General Jonathan Shaw said on Tuesday a no-deal Brexit would be a “major security concern” for the UK as it could find itself excluded from a number of key EU criminal and terrorist databases if it scales down intelligence sharing and counterterrorism cooperation with the bloc.
In an interview with The Independent newspaper, he noted that on the “purely military side”, Britain’s role in NATO won’t be directly affected by Brexit.
The former SAS official also threw his weight behind a second Brexit referendum, insisting a fresh vote is necessary, as many Britons are now more aware of the long-term effects of Brexit than they were back in 2016.
Moreover, Major General Shaw said the 2016 referendum as a “protest vote”, describing it as the UK’s “Arab Spring moment.”
“It was a protest vote about all kinds of things including the EU – it was an emotional vote for many. It was, if you like, a sort of Britain’s Arab Spring moment, a protest where the ultimate outcome was not known. The people of the United Kingdom should be allowed to make up their minds, either way, when the full detail of what is actually involved in Brexit does become known,” he said.
There is indeed growing support for a fresh vote on Britain’s membership of the EU, with campaigners drumming up support to pressure the government, though, at the moment, the ruling Tory government insists it will see Brexit through.
The ex-SAS official, who said he supported Brexit at one point but now thinks the UK should remain in the EU, noted this, saying, “The idea of a second referendum would probably have been fanciful a while ago, but now there seems to be an impetus behind it – a view that these are such fundamental issues that all options must be carefully considered.”