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Friday, May 17, 2024

Trump ‘a political threat’ to UK – ex-MI6 chief

The return of the 45th US president could be disastrous for NATO, Richard Dearlove has said

Former US President Donald Trump’s potential reelection could be “problematic” for British national security due to his stance on NATO, the former head of the MI6 intelligence service has warned.

Richard Dearlove, who led MI6 from 1999 to 2004, was discussing potential threats to the UK in 2024 in an interview with Sky News on Sunday. He pointed to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the “long-term behavior of China,” before moving to the US presidential race.

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“You have to add a political threat, which I am worried about, which is Trump’s reelection… which I think for the UK’s national security is problematic,” Dearlove said. He explained that if Trump, given his critical attitude towards NATO, “acts hastily and damages the Atlantic alliance, that is a big deal for the UK.”

“We’ve put all our eggs in defense terms in the NATO basket. If Trump really is serious about, as it were, changing the balance, I mean the American nuclear umbrella for Europe is, in my view, essential to Europe’s security and defense,” the former spymaster said.

During his time in the White House, Trump disparaged NATO, calling it “obsolete,” and questioned the bloc’s relevance in the modern world. He also cast doubt on Washington’s commitment to defend its allies and argued that other NATO members were not contributing enough.

“Look, NATO has taken advantage of our country. The European countries took advantage,” the former president recently told Fox News, adding that his attitude towards NATO depends on whether “they treat us properly.”

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Despite several court cases against him, Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination as presidential candidate. A recent Morning Consult poll indicates that he is leading with 69% support, while the nearest rival is trailing far behind.