According to The Times, Boris Johnson’s government is crafting a legislative framework to monitor the actions of foreign states against the Crown [1].

This would mean forcing anyone working in the UK for another state to report to the authorities or face serious prosecution. Likewise, the law would make it possible to prosecute anyone based abroad who is engaged in illegal computer activity in the UK. The Official Secrets Act of 1911 does not apply to foreigners.

Former MI5 Director (2013-20) Andrew Baron Parker of Minsmere has just been appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as Lord Chamberlain, who is the most senior official of the Royal Household. In a statement he made before the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament last year, during a debate concerning covert intelligence sources, he remarked that being a foreign spy is not a crime under existing law law as long as one has not been caught in the act.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly contemplating a treason act that would deny entry into British territory to any Crown subject working for a foreign state without permission from his government. It is not clear whether thisprovision would apply equally to paid subjects as well as volunteers. In any case, these people would be deportable from their own homeland since it would be assumed that the foreign government for which they work would have an obligation to take them in.

[1“New powers to kick out spies from hostile states. Tougher laws promised as concerns mount over Russia and China ”, Steven Swinford & Eleni Courea, The Times, April 19, 2021.