UK ‘avoided’ looking into Russia Brexit meddling

A long-awaited report published on Tuesday on Russian influence in British politics criticised the UK government for its slow response to Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

While the report from the parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee said it would be “difficult — if not impossible — to prove” allegations that Russia sought to influence the referendum, it was clear that the government “was slow to recognise the existence of the threat” even after evidence emerged of Russian interference in the US elections back in 2014.

“As a result, the government did not take action to protect the UK’s process in 2016,” the report said. “Serious questions needed to be asked” why ministers didn’t look into the issue, the authors said. The report says Russia sees Britain as one of its top intelligence targets in the West, and that Russian influence in the UK is the “new normal.”

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