It is good to see that UKIP is now getting its teeth into the issue of our armed forces, and the risk of their being absorbed into a single EU force, as well as putting forward a policy of general attention and care for veterans. For the time being, an immediate threat has been averted in that the government did not sign us up to the “EU army” project at the meeting on Monday 13th November last. However there remains a possibility that the five EU states who did not sign up may still do so, indeed Portugal and possibly Ireland are expected to. We must remain vigilant.
The decision will be formalised on December 11th. The two areas of Defence and Criminal Law are actually closely connected, and they both come under the heading of SECURITY. We need to keep an eagle eye on Mrs May’s plans for a “Security Treaty”, which will be put in place after Brexit. Many people think there is nothing wrong with this. They say that after all we share many values and geo-strategic aims with our EU allies, most of whom are also members of NATO. We face the same threats, for example terrorism, so why not cooperate as closely as possible? Well, we need to be careful of glib arguments.
It is true that we share some values with our continental friends, but there are others, in particular as regards security, where we differ. For example, our criminal law system descends from Magna Carta, but theirs descends from the Napoleonic-inquisitorial tradition which is completely different. With the European Arrest Warrant, we are forced to adapt to their system, which allows arrest before evidence of a prima facie case has been gathered, whereas ours insists that evidence be collected before an arrest can be carried out, as provided by article 38 of Magna Carta. And our Habeas Corpus ensures that this will happen by providing for a public hearing within hours of arrest where evidence can and must be exhibited. Habeas Corpus is unknown in continental Europe. It is not provided by the ECHR. It is still available in the UK for those arrested under a domestic warrant, but not if under an EAW. The Napoleonic-inquisitorial system is a ready-made tool for tyranny. Ours is a bulwark of democracy.
Amber Rudd told the Commons in March this year that she and the government intend to keep the EAW as it stands, and our membership of Europol, indefinitely after “Brexit”. This will be included in the planned “Security Treaty”. UKIP hitherto has largely ignored this. We need to denounce it as loudly as possible, and demand that the government drop this.
The EAW must be reformed, so that a British court can examine evidence, before granting extradition, and if necessary reject it. This is important because the State is a body that holds the legal monopoly of the use of violent force. In Britain we have had 350 years of peaceful constitutional development and evolution, so we tend to forget this elementary truth, that the State can use its monopoly of violence to oppress the people. The armed services, the police, and criminal justice, are those areas of government, under the heading of “security”, that give the State the power and the legal right to use physical force against citizens, and make them do things against their will. Enforcement, in a word.
People in Britain are usually far more concerned about the economic side of things. But there is a link: in taxation, because you cannot have a taxation policy, unless you also have enforcement powers. Taxation after all means forcing people to give money to the government, whether they want to or not. They will only do so if they are frightened by the prospect of criminal prosecution, forcible removal of their property (fines), and ultimately handcuffs and prison. Many people are saying that the single currency will fail unless there is also a single taxation policy. This is why the EU needs a uniform legal system and centralised, single-point, enforcement powers – hence Corpus Juris, Europol, the Eurogendarmerie, and ultimately the EU army. Prodi said it clearly, when the single currency was brought in: “We now have the coinage, we need the sword”.
It is pretty obvious why the Eurocrats and the EUphile authorities want to push all this through under the radar, with no public discussion. But even on our side there is a tendency to avoid these subjects. Our centuries of peaceful domestic political history have made many, if not most of us, unable to see that at the end of the day, it is guns that determine who controls the country. We like to talk about votes, money, trade, and so forth. To talk about foreign soldiers or gendarmes patrolling our streets sounds “outlandish”, “gratuitous scaremongering”, and our leaders fear that if we associate our main theme with such “wacko” ideas we will destroy our credibility. They say these are “not issues that people raise on the doorstep”.
I remember the late Piers Merchant reprimanding me vehemently for wanting to warn people about the Eurogendarmerie, for this very reason. Even earlier I remember various people not wanting to talk about Corpus Juris because it would distract attention from our main campaign at that time, which was to “save the pound”.
Personally, I turned against the EU when Delors announced his plan for a single currency in 1990. I then realised that this meant that they really did want a single state. And I predicted that a single state would need a single system of criminal law which would be on the continental inquisitorial model, extinguishing our Magna Carta safeguards of trial by jury, Habeas Corpus, etc. Even though I imagined back in 1990 that it was going to happen eventually, I was shocked when I saw my prediction come true with the Corpus Juris proposal in 1997.
Well there is my tupp’orth. I think it is really just a matter of putting facts in a row, and joining the dots. I hope UKIP’s leadership will pick up these themes.
We had an inkling of the danger when Spain’s central state police force, the Guardia Civil, attacked peaceful voters in Catalonia with baton-charges and rubber bullets. The leaders of the Catalan independence movement, democratically elected politicians, are now in prison, or on bail in Belgium, having received a European Arrest Warrant, facing thirty-year sentences. And by the way, the Guardia Civil are Spain’s contribution to the nascent European Riot Police paramilitaries, the EuroGendarmerie, whose six contributing states are currently training side by side, and being welded into a single force, in Vicenza, Northern Italy.
We shall see what Madrid does if the pro-independence parties win the Catalan elections scheduled for 21st December. Accept the result? Or send in tanks? On present form, the latter result looks more likely. And Brussels will approve? Hmm…
If a “Security Treaty” between Britain and the EU involves us in further entanglement with EU “security arrangements” as our government’s actions and words so far lead us to suspect, we could get to the point where Eurogendarmerie troops are asked over and stationed on British soil. Mrs May said in June 2012, when Home Secretary, in reply to a Parliamentary Question by Dominic Raab MP, that “of course, special intervention units” from the EU would be invited in, “if needed”. At that point, Brussels will be able to treat Brexit as a seditious rebellion, and snuff out our independence, just as Spain can snuff out Catalonia’s, by brute force, indeed brutal force.