Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2024

Uk faces ‘backdoor threats’ from hostile states over Dublin’s poor security | World | News

The UK faces a “back-door threat” from foreign nations because of the Republic of Ireland’s “chronically deficient” security and intelligence resources, a think tank has warned.

There are risks from Iran, Russia and China due to a defence budget of less than 0.5 per cent of GDP in Ireland since 2000, Policy Exchange said.

Report author Policy Marcus Solarz Hendriks said: “With Russia increasingly probing the vulnerability of transatlantic maritime infrastructure, the UK must take action to police its northwestern waters.

“As the Republic remains an unable and unwilling partner in the face of this threat, the UK Government must take matters into its own hands by restoring its air and naval presence in Northern Ireland. The penetration of Irish society by Russia, China and Iran also raises grave concerns over a back-door threat to the UK.

“The UK cannot do the job of the Irish state for it but – by fundamentally changing the nature of Northern Irish security arrangements – it will send a strong signal to the Republic that our patience for its evasive commitment to collective security has worn thin.”

The report – backed by former Defence SecretariesSir Michael Fallon and Lord Robertson of Port Ellen – called for the UK Government to expand its naval and air presence in Northern Ireland for maritime patrol missions against Russian intrusion.

It also urged the UK and its regional partners to unite and up the ante in pressing Dublin to do its fair share for collective security.

In a foreword in support of the report,Sir Michael and Lord Robertson said “As Defence Secretaries in different governments at different times, we know that little attention was paid to the security of the island of Ireland in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War.

“We therefore welcome this new report from Policy Exchange, which powerfully reasserts the strategic importance of Ireland, and especially Northern Ireland, to the UK’s national security.

“Russian intelligence ships and warships have been identified off the Irish coast and close to key transatlantic cables. The growing Russian, Iranian and Chinese presence in the Republic poses a backdoor threat to the United Kingdom itself.”

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