Today’s lunatic Brexit convention

Nato, of course, is and will remain the most important alliance for maintaining Britain’s national security, particularly when we need complex military capabilities. But the other, increasingly important pillar of our security is the EU. Europe is facing a series of grave security challenges, from instability in the Middle East and the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, to resurgent Russian nationalism and aggression.
Britain will have to confront these challenges whether it is inside or outside the EU. But within the EU, we are stronger. Inside it, we can continue to collaborate closely with our European allies, just as we did when we helped to force the Iranians to the negotiating table through EU-wide sanctions, or made sure that Vladimir Putin would pay a price for his aggression in Ukraine.
At the same time, our firm veto over EU foreign policy decisions guarantees not only that we will never be forced to join EU initiatives that are against our strategic interest, but also that we can block the rest of the EU from going ahead in such circumstances.

It was the US sanctions that got the Iranians and Ukraine is solved now is it?

Also note that if our military is integrated with the EU one then not only can we veto them, they can veto us. Anyone want to bet on the ability to do the Falklands if Paris has a vote on it?

Field Marshal Lord Bramall
Former Chief of Defence Staff
Field Marshal Lord Guthrie
Former Chief of Defence Staff
Marshal of the RAF Jock Stirrup
Former Chief of Defence Staff
Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce
Former Chief of Defence Staff
Admiral Lord West
Former First Sea Lord
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope
Former First Sea Lord
General Sir Mike Jackson
Former Chief of the General Staff
General Lord Dannatt
Former Chief of the General Staff
General Sir Michael Rose
Former Director of Special Forces
General Sir Rupert Smith
Former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe
General Sir Richard Shirreff
Former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszeley
Former Director General of the Defence Academy
Lieutenant General Sir Rob Fry
Former Deputy Chief of Defence Staff

Who threatened your pensions boys?

35 thoughts on “Today’s lunatic Brexit convention”

  1. Idiocy. Mind you, I’d consider leaving NATO too, before we’re dragged into some loony war that is none of or business.

  2. Yeah, right.
    And these are the people we trust for a detached view on arms procurement & the wisdom on conducting military operations overseas.

  3. The “in” campaign is really making a hash of this. The ordinary citizen doesn’t give a shit what a former First Sea Lord thinks of the EU, in fact the ordinary citizen leaning towards an “out” vote will probably be utterly fed up with people like First Sea Lords telling him these ultra-national organisations are all for his own good.

    They’d be better off dealing with much lower-level, practical issues, such as broadcasting interviews with foreigners who have had to engage with the French authorities in matters such as driving licenses and residency permits and pointing out that, as EU citizens, we don’t need to do any of this shite.

  4. Dearieme is right.We’d be better off leaving NATO (and making the EU a trading bloc that resists American economic imperialism as de Gaulle set about doing. No wonder he didn’t trust us in Europe not to further the Americans’ interests.)

  5. Don’t diss the French over the Falklands. Mitterrand was 100% behind the UK. He gave the UK details on how to spoof Exocet and RN ships practiced against French Super Etandards on the way out. Tried to slow down Exocet deliveries to South American countries as much as he could too.

    Now the Belgians….

  6. Devonchap. The French obstructed all our efforts to find anything out about their relations with Argentines. We only discovered which airfield they using with American help.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    It was the EU that got us in to the mess in Ukraine in the first place with their idiotic delusions of imperialist expansion.

  8. More to the point, should Spain as a NATO member have been allowed to veto the Falklands expedition, and if so what are the odds that they wouldn’t have?
    Leave alone Ireland, ruled at the time by the arch-crook and IRA arms supplier Haughey: should he have been allowed an EU veto over that aspect of UK foreign policy?

  9. The shit they have pulled constitutes treason.

    The least punishment should be loss of job, confiscation of pension, cashiered in front of the ranks and stripped of all honours and decorations including any won for actual courage in the field. Blackballed from any state job or job with state hanger-on. And old-age pension cancelled.

    Minimum.

  10. On a slightly different tack, it’s perhaps worth remembering that these has-beens cheerfully presided over successive cuts to the military during St Tony’s incumbency and without the slightest whimper.

    When it comes to not standing up for Britain’s defence interests, these scallywags have a fine track record.

  11. These are the guys who accepted two aircraft carriers without aircraft and the cutting the manpower of the armed forces below the minimum required to carry out the political commitment made by our idiot politicians. They then sat back and watched the civilians in MOD play fast and loose with employment contracts by releasing long service personnel weeks before their pensions were due. Hang ’em all.

  12. At the end of the day, politicians and civil servants like the EU as it provides more work and consultancy opportunities when they come to the end of their career. You can be appointed to be the nations commissioner, the EU presidenot or foreign policy mandarin, or simply make a small fortune providing consultancy to the EU policy machine or by speaking at all those wonderfully necessary EU diners.

    Hence the reason why they think it is perfectly acceptable to give away the nations sovereignty as it makes them appears to be good little internationalists and hence make them appealing for the EU jobs and consultancy.

    And for people like Tony Blair, the icing on the cake is that whatever is good for Tony is also good for the nation.

    Yes, Tony really does believe that.

  13. It was the EU that got us in to the mess in Ukraine in the first place with their idiotic delusions of imperialist expansion.

    No, it wasn’t. Really, it wasn’t.

  14. What the Bison said.

    These are the modern Wellingtons who consented to the Army being slashed down to numbers that wouldn’t fill Wembley.

    The Navy having more admirals than ships, carriers without planes, and a brilliant plan to replace our Type 23’s with only 8 frigates – sorry, “global combat ships”.

    And the RAF, with their amazing money-burning Euroshiter, no ASW planes, and barely any operational bombers.

    And all this on the fifth largest defence budget in the world. Genius.

  15. They are not the only cause but they played a part–which they couldn’t have had they not existed.

    Indeed –Brexit is not enough. A semi-sane UK govt (a sane one would set about dissolving itself) would commit to the utter destruction of the EU and the punishment of its officials and all collaborators with it.

  16. Tried to slow down Exocet deliveries to South American countries as much as he could too.

    I thought it was the British security services secretly buying up as many Exocets as they could get their hands on, rather than the frogs trying to delay deliveries.

    2002 version: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1387576/How-France-helped-us-win-Falklands-war-by-John-Nott.html

    FRANCE was Britain’s greatest ally during the Falklands war, providing secret information to enable MI6 agents to sabotage Exocet missiles which were desperately sought by Argentina, according to Sir John Nott, who was Defence Secretary during the conflict.

    2012 version: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9767736/Thatchers-blistering-attack-on-French-over-Exocets-during-Falklands.html

    The French president had telephoned the Prime Minister to say that Peru, an ally of Argentina, was pressuring his country to deliver a batch of Exocets ordered before the war.
    The British were in no doubt about the true destination of the missiles and Thatcher made it clear that the French would pay dearly for putting their reputation as a reliable arms supplier before the Anglo-French alliance.
    “We have been much heartened by France’s stalwart support both in public and private,” she wrote. “If it became known, as it certainly would, that France was now releasing weapons to Peru that would certainly be passed on to Argentina for use against us, France’s ally, this would have a devastating effect on the relationship between our two countries. Indeed, it would have a disastrous effect on the alliance as a whole.”

  17. They are not the only cause but they played a part–which they couldn’t have had they not existed.

    True, but then Russians being upset about Ukrainians wanting to trade with Europeans (instead of being forced to buy Russian junk) is akin to Arabs being upset that the citizens of Israel are allowed to exist, i.e. I’m not sure the fault lies with those causing the distress.

  18. When it comes to sanctions the ‘benefit’ of imposing them via the EU is that the member states can keep their hands clean. It would never be the UK imposing sanctions, it would be the EU.

    The Meissen Bison said:

    On a slightly different tack, it’s perhaps worth remembering that these has-beens cheerfully presided over successive cuts to the military during St Tony’s incumbency and without the slightest whimper.

    A good point. It is the steady hollowing out of the UK’s independent capabilities that allows the claim that the EU security pillar is increasingly important.

    In general the EU decides to do nothing, together, while individual members do the difficult things.(eg France and UK in Libya) So we might as well not be in.

  19. Re: NATO

    We’re in a right shit state regarding Turkey. They and the Saudi’s seem determined to pick a fight with the Russians over Syria, and apparently Putin’s threatened them both with Tactical nukes if they invade, at which point Turkey can invoke the NATO treaty.

    Hell I’d want to help Putin in that one.

  20. If Turkey and the Saudis get into it with Russia I suspect NATO’s response will be “You’re on your own”.

  21. If Turkey and the Saudis get into it with Russia I suspect NATO’s response will be “You’re on your own”.

    I’d hope their official stance to be “we hope all sides lose”.

  22. Not Sir Michael Rose, there’s a correction on the tele page. Most news outlets are headlining “No 10 apologises” etc. The news that Rose didn’t sign the letter is buried on the BBC under the headline “UK safer inside EU, former-defence chiefs say”

  23. The argument that the EU has saved Europe from conflict would stand up better if the EU had an army. The EU is the successor of the project to inextricably tie France and Germany together economically so they didn’t pull Europe into another Franco-German war again, but the EU has only protected against that /internal/ threat. It’s been the likes of NATO and the standoff with the Warsaw Pact that prevent conflict from /external/ threats.

    And yes, it needed both NATO and Warsaw to prevent that conflict. Without the Warsaw Pact the east could well have felt sufficiently overthreatened to chance their arm, hawks in the west could easily have found a way to willy-wave and chuck a bomb somewhere. There were plenty of people pressing for the Korean War to go nuclear.

  24. Isn’t an attack on one an attack on all?

    Hopefully there’s enough room for manoeuvre that we can tell them “you started it, you finish it”.

  25. I was going to ask why anyone would think an EU state would veto Britain defending against an attack but then I remembered politics. Thank you for not calling on your NATO allies against Argentina.

    The mess with Turkey is where I have questions.

    If Turkey attacks Russia do we have to defend them or can we just let them get their ass handed to them?

    I am not defending the violation of Turkish airspace but is it something worthy of invoking Article 5 if no weapons are used?

    My understanding is that during the Cold War Turkey was allowed into NATO to deny Soviet use of the Bosporus strait. Tactical considerations were the only major reason why Turkey was allowed to join. What nuance am I missing?

  26. Liberal Yank. NATO members have a duty to defend each other if attacked north of the tropic of cancer. That is why the Falklands didn’t count but Russia attacking Turkey would.

    Turkey was brought into NATO as they had a large army and threatened the Soviet flank as well as reassuring Turkey so they wouldn’t turn to the USSR for security. You’be got to have Cold War thinking. They also had to be brought in at the same time as the Greeks since given the choice Greece vetos anything to do with Turkey.

  27. I missed the tropic of cancer portion but still jolly good show taking care of the problem yourselves.

    The “large army and threatened the Soviet flank as well as reassuring Turkey so they wouldn’t turn to the USSR for security.” are all more tactical reasons. If not for the Soviet threat I still don’t know of any reason we would be an ally of Turkey.

    Working under the assumption that Putin is smart enough to not attack Turkish forces in Turkey, at least initially, what do we have to do if the Turkish army attacks Russia forces in Syria and Russia counter attacks?

  28. I guess the ultimate test is what weight we ascribe to all these venerable warlords. Who oversaw the emasculation of the nation’s armies.

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