Brexit delays could force UK into EU army
The EU is a failing superstate, destined for a slow but sure collapse. However, Brussels is mired in delusion, and nothing is more illustrative of that than their ambition for a European army they want Britain to be part of
This month United States President, Donald Trump, has committed to trying to make the US bases in Europe more cost effective. He even wants to try to make a profit with countries paying their fair share of the costs and supplies in return for the security which is provided.
This is something one might expect; a reasonable request for the benefit of having US troops defending their citizens.
However, this has now brought about a response from many EU Member States, who would rather not pay this extra money. Instead, they want to try and find somewhere else to get cheap military protection from -- this new avenue being the EU and their Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
While the British public may have thought they had voted to get away from such bureaucratic institutions, at present the proposed Withdrawal Agreement commits the UK to taking part, including providing funding and troops. Effectively, under May’s Deal, UK taxpayers would be funding the EU army. The text states: “to the extent possible under EU law” the UK will be a part of the European Defence Fund, Permanent Structured Cooperation, and the European Defence Agency.
This is simply unacceptable and rightly it is a concern which Get Britain Out and others have raised with the Government. The UK cannot be dragooned into these organisations against its will.
Many people have ignored the arguably far more prominent and severe problems with the Withdrawal Agreement than the much talked about backstop. As a result, the threats to our sovereignty and military independence have gone unchallenged. In a recent poll via Twitter, Veterans for Britain found 98% of 6,982 respondents preferred a No Deal Brexit to May’s Deal and all the commitments which come with it. You can see the poll here.
We are frequently told these tales of military union are scare stories by Brexit extremists. However, just last week Hans-Peter Bartels, the German Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces said: “First, we need a proper defence committee in the European Parliament. Second, we need a European Commissioner for defence and therefore a Directorate General for defence too. Finally, we need a European defence headquarters.”
This is the latest in a long line of commitments by prominent individuals on the Continent coming out in favour of, and actively seeking to create a European Army. The basis for this already exists. All that is required are the final touches.
As a result, extensions to Brexit greatly enhance the chances of the UK being tied into a European Army and controlled from Brussels. Should we be forced into a long extension of Article 50 against the Prime Minister’s wishes, then the situation could be even worse than presented within the Withdrawal Agreement.
Throughout this entire extension we would be fully-fledged Members of the EU, tied to their projects and bodies for even longer – and paying into them as well.
Should May's deal fail to pass then it is likely the only option for extension which would be accepted at the European Council is a long delay until the end of 2019. The UK Parliament would have until the 12th of April to indicate what it wants to do next. Mrs May has made very clear she is not willing to delay beyond June 30th. However, the Prime Minister has confirmed - over 100 times - we will Leave the EU on March 29th. Yet here we are. How can anything May says be trusted?
There would have been one simple way all of this could be avoided -- to honour the law and Leave the EU on WTO terms on March 29th 2019. Anything the EU might agree during a short extension would be minimal and would not remove the deep-set problems of the Withdrawal Agreement or change the reality of the EU being on a path towards a federalist military project.
The United Kingdom has a long-standing proud military tradition, and we must not sacrifice this for a chance of passing May’s deeply flawed Withdrawal Agreement, which betrays the majority vote to Leave the EU by the Great British Public.
This is now the most opportune time to Get Britain Out of the European Union after 56 years, and it is vital to cut ourselves free of the stranglehold of the EU’s bureaucracy, which is pushing to negate the national military sovereignty of its individual Member States.
Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie is a Research Executive at cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out
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