The United Kingdom expands the powers of the Police to fight against espionage, the corresponding law comes into force on August 13 means today onwards, declared by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel.
“These new powers send a very clear message to those involved in it that this government has zero tolerance for those acting against British interests,” Patel said, quoted by the British Government on its website.
The police can now detain, question, and, when necessary, search and arrest foreigners suspected of spying.
The minister specified that the new powers were introduced in the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 in response to the Salisbury incident in 2018.
“we are developing new legislation to bring our laws up to date and create new ones to stay ahead of the threat,” she concluded.
Sergei Skripal, recruited in the 90s by the British secret service MI6 and naturalized in the United Kingdom, and his daughter Yulia, were found unconscious in early March 2018 in the British city of Salisbury, as a result of what London came to qualify as attempted poisoning with a substance with a neuro-paralyzing action.
As soon as the investigation opened, London blamed Moscow without evidence for being behind the poisoning.
Moscow flatly rejects London’s accusations, which it considers unfounded, and sent dozens of diplomatic notes to the Foreign Office demanding access to the evidence in order to collaborate with the investigation, as well as to the Skripals, who are citizens of Russia.
As a result of the Salisbury case, the two states considerably reduced their diplomatic contacts.