UK weighs plans to make foreign agents register after new report suggests bigger threat of Russian interference

22 July, 2020 – Fox News

‘The PM sat on this report for 10 months,’ Labor leader Keir Starmer said.

Britain’s ministers are considering making foreign agents register with the government in the United Kingdom after an intelligence report detailed allegations that there was Russian interference in the European Union referendum.

Ministers lambasted Prime Minister Boris Johnson for holding on to the report for 10 months and not taking significant actions to counter possible Russian meddling or espionage.

“The PM sat on this report for 10 months and failed to plug a gap in our law in national security,” Sir Keir Starmer, leader for the opposition Labor party, told the House of Commons, according to reports by BBC.

Still, government officials pushed back on the findings of the report, insisting that an inquiry into the pivotal vote which ultimately led to Britain’s secession from the EU – or Brexit – was not necessary because authorities had “seen no evidence of successful interference.”

“It is about pressure from the Islingtonian remainers who have seized on this report to try and give the impression that Russian interference was somehow responsible for Brexit,” Johnson said.

“The people of this country did not vote to leave the EU because of pressure from Russia.”

Johnson helped lead the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. He made delivering Brexit his primary goal since he became prime minister last July.

Britain’s Intelligence and Security Committee report concluded that Russia sees Britain as one of its top intelligence targets, adding that Moscow’s attempts to influence the U.K. are the “new normal” and successive governments have welcomed Russian oligarchs with open arms.

Russians with “very close links” to President Vladimir Putin are “well integrated into the U.K. business, political and social scene – in ‘Londongrad’ in particular,” the report said.

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