Brexit made weakened UK a target for novichok attack, claims ex-MI6 boss

Former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers believes Brexit weakened the UK into becoming an attractive target for a Russian nerve agent attack.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Sir John - who led MI6 between 2009 and 2014 - believes that only a second referendum would heal the divisions created by the Brexit debate and build a national consensus about Britain’s future.

He rejects the idea that leaving the EU would make Britain safer, a claim made by Richard Dearlove - one of Sir John’s predecessors.

“Our very weakness - as a result of Brexit, as a result of fraying transatlantic ties - was an attraction for Russia,” he told

“The weaker a country, the more attractive a target it is for bullies."

Sir John goes on to point out that Russia wouldn’t dare to carry out an attack similar to what was witnessed in Salisbury earlier this year in the US or Germany.

“I don’t believe Russia would have used a nerve agent on the streets of an American or German city,” he said.

“The consequences would have been too great, the operation would not have been authorised. But Russia was willing to treat Britain with contempt.”

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