Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, ventures forth in the Sunday Telegraph today to set out his view that a closer alliance with France will be good for Britain. In doing so he intentionally attempts to mislead the public about the long term direction of Britain’s defence policy.
But his derisory effort to give the impression that Britain’s interests come first, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is worthy of scorn. It is a disgraceful attempt to deceive the British public. If you are not sure what I mean, try to make sense of Fox’s opening sentence:
Too often, the debate on defence within Europe has been focused on what the EU should or should not do. Yet it has always been my view that defence must be a sovereign, and therefore an inter-governmental issue.
The visions are mutally exclusive. You cannot have sovereign defence and make defence an inter-governmental issue. Fox continues:
When nations can benefit from co-operation without losing sovereignty, they should aim to do so – which is why this week will mark the beginning of a long-term commitment to closer defence and security links with France.
This is delusional rubbish. It doesn’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny. Any national defence capability that is dependent on the active cooperation and involvement of another nation before it can be deployed is, by definition, not sovereign. The Fox rationale of ‘cooperation’ being important in saving money is a red herring. The problem with our defence spending has not been the amount spent, but how it has been wasted on the procurement of the wrong equipment, usually at grossly inflated prices.
Let us be clear, Fox is not talking about international cooperation – a good example of which is NATO. Cooperation equates to the sovereign and independent defence capabilities of a number of countries coming together to achieve specific operational goals of mutual interest. What Fox is describing is interdependence – where the military force of a country (in this case Britain) is incapable of acting unilaterally and can only be deployed if another country provides the missing elements required to conduct operations.
This is not good for Britain.
As a number of people commenting on Fox’s Telegraph piece point out, everyone can think of conflicts in recent years where France would have refused to allow its assets to be deployed to enable British operations, because involvement in such actions would have a negative impact on French trade or financial interests. We know that even the closest of friends and allies sometimes oppose actions undertaken in our self interest – America during the Suez crisis anyone? We know that the interests of our friends and allies often conflict with our own wishes – France selling warships to Russia anyone?
But the observations of nearly all the commentators on Fox’s essay fail to make the final step on their journey. For any number of reasons they fail to recognise what the end game really is, perhaps because the destination is such anathema to them they could not conceive our government would work towards such an outcome… namely that defence is being readied to become an EU responsibility.
The goal is that the defence of the United Kingdom will cease to be the sovereign responsibility of the British government and that it will be, at some point in the future, managed by the EU. The goal that the most essential pillar of self determination of a nation state will be removed as a part of the objective of ever closer union on the path to full federal governance from Brussels.
No matter how close our friends and allies might be the United Kingdom absolutely must maintain an independent and sovereign military capability that can be deployed unilaterally to protect this country and defend this country’s interests overseas. Liam Fox, David Cameron, the coalition government and the rest of the political class are not serving Britain’s interests, but serving the wishes of the EU. And yes, the Tories with their weasel words and attempts to wrap themselves in the flag are complicit in this and have actively driven this forward.
Without being melodramatic there is only one word for such behaviour and that is treachery. When are people going to shake themselves out of their slumber and stand up against the dismantling of this country? How fitting it is that the word treachery comes from the Old French trecherie, from trechier, meaning to cheat, compare or trick.