We’ve come to the tail end of M Barnier’s speech. Here he lets the rest of his cats out of his bag. We better scrutinise them carefully because those cats show what Brussels, what M Barnier, what the French really think of us Brits:
In a position paper published early September, the United Kingdom made a rare statement in support of European defence policy. In this context, the UK seems willing to engage in the long‑term towards European cooperation.
Goodness me: the scarcely-veiled scorn for us is just dripping from every word here! We ‘seem willing’? Someone should drag M Barnier across the War Cemeteries in Flanders and Normandy to show what our ‘seems willing’ actually looks like! Worse is M Barnier’s insinuation (“rare statement …”) that perfidious Britain would leave poor Brussels and the EU defenseless were it not for the EU’s lovely new defence ‘structure’.
On our side, we hope for an ambitious partnership in the interests of the Union, based – if I may put it this way – on three ‘B’s:
Careful, M Barnier: three ‘B’s means ‘Bullshit Baffles Brains’: you’re showing your hand!
- a partnership that is Broad: our cooperation must cover both conventional and asymmetric threats, such as cyber attacks;
This is meaningless in practical terms, especially when coming from the EU.
- a partnership that is Beneficial: our cooperation must contribute to strengthening the Union’s security and the Union’s strategic autonomy;
More hot air, more meaningless bovine excrement.
- a partnership that is Balanced: we must ensure that we do not discriminate against third countries.
… unless, of course, it’s the UK. What this means is anybody’s guess. Since it comes from an EU ‘master’, we can assume it means the UK is expected to be the cash cow, again.
A partnership of this type must also comply with three principles laid down by the Heads of State or Government:
- A third country, however close it may be to the Union, may not lay claim to a status that is equivalent or superior to that of a Member of the Union.
This is a veiled threat: we can be as ‘close’ in this partnership as we like, but cannot expect, after Brexit, to have any say in how our money will be spent nor indeed how and why and where the blood of our soldiers and sailors will be shed.
- The Union’s decision-making autonomy must be respected; the United Kingdom may not decide on the use of certain capacities under the European flag.
Another threat, a bit less veiled. After Brexit this EU defence partnership will work one way only: our capacities to the EU (without our say), but none of theirs to us. They are ‘autonomous’, we are not. Tough: we should’ve remained …
- Any voluntary participation of the United Kingdom in European defence will confer rights and obligations in proportion to the level of this participation.
Which rights and what obligations? M Barnier knows exactly what this means – but why should he go into particulars, that’s not his Master’s way.
Our future partnership must lead to some very concrete outcomes. For example, it must enable:
- the voluntary participation of the United Kingdom in missions and operations carried out by the European Union, in terms of both personnel and strategic assets;
In normal speech this means we’ll be invited to ‘participate’, in the good old EU spirit of ‘community’. Grateful for this invitation we’ll allow Juncker, Mogherini and an assortment of French and German generals to use our strategic assets, under the veiled ‘terms’ mentioned above. We would have no say in this!
- the participation of the United Kingdom in joint armaments programmes and capability projects within the framework of the European Defence Agency […] together with industrial cooperation enabling these programmes to be implemented smoothly;
That’s a bit more specific: we’ll subjugate our military requirements (hardware, equipment, training) to the EU military industrial complex while we pay extra money for it.
- exchanges between our intelligence services to support our external action;
Oh look: we’ll let you have your soft, semi-Brexit and will put all sorts of obstacles in your way, but in any case, you must let us have access to your GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 data so we, the EU, can learn which war we want to fight!
- exchanges on cyber attacks and managing, preventing and responding collectively to such attacks.
Another broad hint: you may Brexit, but in the name of ‘security’, you must still remain part of the EU collective.
Doesn’t it begin to look as if the poor dears in Brussels are incapable of achieving their fantastic dreams of EU defence and security without us? They actually need us – but hope that we don’t understand, while bullying us into acquiescence.
We are well aware that European defence is an open project […], we are not starting from scratch when it comes to defining a strategic partnership with the United Kingdom.
Well, that’s nice, and so generous by M Barnier of the EU! Again, he deftly omits mentioning NATO and the lack of commitment of those EU and non-EU States he praises, as President Trump pointed out earlier this year.
2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Saint-Malo summit, which was a founding summit for European defence. In 1998, contrary to all expectations, after seven hours of negotiations the French and British leaders agreed on the need to give Europe the capability to act autonomously in order to manage crises in its neighbourhood and beyond.
Hang on a minute! So they’ve worked on this defence strategy for twenty years? Twenty years! During that time we had 9/11, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, the bombing of Libya, the ‘help’ given to Syrian so-called rebels, leading to ISIS, the Ukraine … and they still haven’t managed to come up with a real EU Defence pact? All they’ve got to date is this EU “Army” and PESCO!
And it was the ‘French and British Leaders’ who agreed in 1998 (that would’ve been Tony Blair …) – no Germans involved? How very odd! If that’s due to the Germans’ known reticence in getting involved in military actions because of their past history – fair enough. But why do these same Germans now insist on PESCO and all that jazz?
[…] I am convinced that it is this spirit of Saint-Malo that should characterise the future defence and security partnership between the 27 Member States and the United Kingdom. Our aim: autonomous and united European defence. Which means a Union capable of acting by itself and always supportive in its alliances.
Wait a moment: ‘supportive in it’s alliances’? Nice little cat let out of the bag here by M Barnier! Is the EU aiming for or already working on military alliances? Alliances with which countries? Do the 500 million EU “citizens” know? I bet our Whitehall Mandarins do!
The construction of a ‘Europe of Defence’ has begun.
… after a gestation period of 20 years!
Obviously, we will not wait for the United Kingdom to implement it, but when the time comes we will be ready to cooperate with the United Kingdom.
Another little threat which the Germans will have lapped up: see, you Brits, you will be left behind if you don’t stay and come into our benevolent arms. But of course, if you were to come begging in case of war, we’d help. Eventually. Perhaps.
This partnership will be in our best interests, since it is what the European citizens expect and it will contribute to the stability and security of our continent and our neighbourhood.
And that’s the last and largest cat finally out of the bag: this “Europe of Defence” is only in their, the EU’s (and we all know what that means: France and Germany) best interest – not in ours. So why should we get involved, even support it?
I would like to ask our negotiators, our politicians, Ms May and indeed our MSM if they are actually aware of the issues touched upon in this speech! This “Europe of Defence” is meant not just to tie us irrevocably to Brussels but to bleed us dry, metaphorically and literally. However, I suspect they know, that Whitehall has known for 20 years but have done their utmost to keep all this out of public debate. It certainly played no part in their ‘Project Fear’ propaganda against Brexit – one wonders why …
A periodic military madness leading to outright catastrophe grips Europe every hundred years or so: the Napoleonic wars, WWI, WWII. Next year is the centenary of the end of WWI – are we now living in times where another instance of military madness is developing right before our eyes? Will our soldiers and sailors be forced to fight and die for Brussels, for Juncker, Mogherini and Barnier because our own leaders are too spineless and traitorous to reject participating in this mad EU project?
Will we be made to forsake the major part of our sovereignty, namely making the decision to go to war ourselves, through our Parliament?