Well, that\’s the end of the EU then.

Willy Hutton performing his valuable service as the butt end of our moral and policy compass:

The future of our defence, like the future of the City, lies in making common cause with Europe. It will be a rocky ride – the sceptics could yet force and win an anti-EU referendum. But exit will only trigger a faster recognition of the reality that is forcing the proposed deal between BAE and EADS. Our only future is European. Before 2030 Britain will be applying to join the euro – and thus beginning a catch-up with a Europe which by then will be much more prosperous than us, looted by our feckless elite and their Eurosceptic apologists. Watch and wait.

Clearly the entire EU project is about to fail imminently.

12 thoughts on “Well, that\’s the end of the EU then.”

  1. Goodness.

    That’s why every European joint defence project has been such a runaway success. Tornado, Typhoon, PAAMS, A330 MRTT – all more expensive, less capable and later than simply buying American. Or, for that matter, French.

    British defence chiefs have always been privately in favour of developing a joint European army, navy and air force

    I think Willy is confused. British defence chiefs know full well that power lies in NATO – with the force of the US punch behind it. And are normally happy to be 2ic of a US-led force. Various EU nations’ public opinion is generally too against deployment of significant forces with effective ROE to make an EU strike force a capable war-fighting entity.

  2. I think this just adds to the many other points that suggest that Guardian types left the real world a long time ago and don’t see it changing.

    40 years ago, I could understand the view that Europe mattered more, because a lot of the rest of the world was communist, a lot of it had huge trade barriers and we were almost entirely trading in physical goods. Even when we trade in physical goods today, far more of the value is in the intellect than the raw materials and physical labour than back then.

  3. Anyone have access to Guardian archives from the late 1980s? Would be interesting to see if Hutton or any other commentators were saying something similar about the USSR in 1987….

  4. Point is, an EU-wide defence pact (probably not a single European army) could probably work quite well in terms of territorial defence. It’s moot whether or not we need one – the risk of most EU member states being invaded is quite low and I’d expect everyone to ride to the rescue if they were. The glaring hole in that is of course the baltics, and I doubt anyone has the stomach for a fight with Russia absent American backup.

    It’s the overseas interventions that would cause the problems but most of them have been huge-scale fuck-ups, haven’t they. But if you could have a system in which the French would be as willing to defend the Falklands as we are Martinique, yes, it’s a pipe-dream innit.

  5. JamesV – “Point is, an EU-wide defence pact (probably not a single European army) could probably work quite well in terms of territorial defence. It’s moot whether or not we need one – the risk of most EU member states being invaded is quite low and I’d expect everyone to ride to the rescue if they were. The glaring hole in that is of course the baltics, and I doubt anyone has the stomach for a fight with Russia absent American backup.”

    So a mutual defence pact would work well except where someone might like to invade the European Common Home like the Baltics? Sure. I have no doubt that if a European country is invaded, everyone else will provide a lot of lectures and hot air. But given virtually no one but the British and the French have any useable armed forces – even the Netherlands has decided it doesn’t need a single tank – it hardly matter does it? Who do you think is going to ride to the rescue? The Japanese? So in what sense does the system work? As long as we don’t need it, it will be there?

    “It’s the overseas interventions that would cause the problems but most of them have been huge-scale fuck-ups, haven’t they. But if you could have a system in which the French would be as willing to defend the Falklands as we are Martinique, yes, it’s a pipe-dream innit.”

    I think the French are as willing to defend the Falklands as we are Martinique. Which is to say, not very much.

  6. The Tel this morning carried photos of the candidates for Governor of the Bank of England. Hutton wasn’t one. I was puzzled because the others were all dreadful duds too.

  7. Surreptitious Evil,

    Willy Hutton has not accounted for MoD Top Brass being politicians just as much as any MP.

    They support EU projects like the European Rapid Reaction Force and the EU carrier group in order to get shiny new kit and promotions. The Royal Navy are getting their new carriers and the RAF new transport planes. The Army were hoping FRES would get sorted out and paid for but operations in Afghanistan and Iraq appear to have changed their minds on some of the project.

  8. The EU cannever afford to defend itself, since to do so would require:
    a) A decent ballistic missile defence system – not for handfuls but for bloody hundreds (including decoys) and covering not just homelands but deployed forces such as carriers, Prince Harry, etc.
    b) Hardening of national infrastructure against EMP strikes (in the UK, I suppose that would have to include LibDem strikes)
    c) Millions of combat drones.
    d) About 20 Ohio-class Trident subs (but rather stealthier)
    d) Logistics capable of shifting a decent butcher-and-bolt force to anywhere in the world in 24 hours against serious air opposition.
    e) Active protection weapons on every military vehicle.
    For starters.
    You’re not likely to afford that with an economy powered by windmills are you?

  9. 1: “the sceptics could yet force and win an anti-EU referendum.” – yes they could, no they will lose it.

    2: “Before 2030 Britain will be applying to join the euro” – maybe, maybe not.

    3: “and thus beginning a catch-up with a Europe which by then will be much more prosperous than us” – the prosperous parts of europe will be the same as now and previously – France, UK, Germany, Benelux,Scandinavia – others may catch up somewhat.

  10. 2030? He’s not exactly committing himself, is he? I suppose he wanted to delay the embarassment of being shown to be completely wrong, again

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