Let’s say No to a European army

The EU does wish to supplement or even rival NATO, and does wish to work towards a European army, navy and airforce.
In their defence paper in July 2015 they called for “EU owned dual use capabilities and a proposal to explore how capability needs could best be fulfilled by assets directly purchased, owned and operated by the Union”. They have not got there fully yet, but the direction of travel is clear.
In the meantime The EU has created a naval force in the Mediteranean to pick up economic migrants and asylum seekers exposed to dangers at sea. It also has another naval force tackling piracy off the Horn of Africa.
The EU began by pooling iron and steel manufacture, then the sinews of war. It has moved on to some joint defence procurement, and to the creation of a defence and aerospace industry crossing frontiers to make member states interdependent in the production of weaponry.
The EU has created an EU defence force, with a rapid response army and a common command headquarters. The Eurocorps, called “a force for the EU” has a “permanent operational multinational structure capable of being deployed at very short notice” with up to 65,000 troops. At the core of it is a joint Franco German force. It has seen action in Bosnia, Kosovo and twice in Afghanistan. So far it has usually worked through NATO.
The UK has been wary of this emerging force, but has nonetheless gone along with various collaborative projects, especially with the French. The UK has also joined in various joint weapons and aircraft programmes. UK Ministers often have to argue against further EU involvement or control of military matters. Meanwhile our security is guaranteed by our own forces and by our membership of NATO. It is noteworthy that we belong to Five Eyes, the enduring and successful intelligence gathering and sharing alliance with the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand out side the EU.
The UK wishes to avoid the creation of an EU army and navy directly under the control of the EU where member states have no say in whether to participate or not. The NATO alliance is founded on the principle that each member state decides whether to back a NATO military intervention or not, and if so with how many personnel and with how much weaponry and supplies. The EU has a habit of moving from voluntary co-operation to legal requirements in other areas. The UK is keen to avoid a situation where British troops could be put in danger against the wishes of the UK people and Parliament.

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160 Comments

  1. bluedog
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    It just gets worse, Dr JR.

    Not hard to imagine British troops under mandatory EU command being delegated to provide military assistance to the civil power.

    Translation: armed suppression of an anti-EU or nationalist demonstration. etc ed

    • formula57
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      In fairness to the EU, if it is going to initiate investigations against member states under its ‘rule of law’ mechanism (as it did in January against naughty Poland where the elected leaders seem to think they run that country and so can do things not approved of by the European Commission), it will need to have some enforcement powers as provided by an army.

    • agricola
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      It requires no great stretch of the imagination to see such an EU force being used to suppress democracy wherever such democracy opposed the wishes of the EU.

      To date they have used all the powers they have to suppress democracy in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Portugal. Nor do I overlook them telling Ireland to go back to the ballot box until the required result was forthcoming, or France and Holland having rejected the Constitutional Treaty being forced to take on the Lisbon Treaty without their electorate being asked. The Lisbon Treaty being a re-titled Constitutional Treaty.

      After such contempt for democracy it is but a short step to armed intervention within it’s own borders.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Yes. You would imagine that the possibility of a EU security force being deployed on the streets of Athens, or elsewhere, to enforce and impose austerity should give Labour supporters of Corbyn some pause for thought (Corbyn is solidly anti-EU as far as I can see from his past statements).

      • Hope
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        We were told a few years ago this was not an EU plan. Even on this site after you spoke to Liam Fox. Why is Cameron going along with an EU border force when his record at home is so appalling? Is there any true intention to improve the Home Office, immigration or any of the public services, including military?

        Good to read Osborne’s brother struck off for inappropriate behaviour. Perhaps he should have entered politics? Sad to read MPs given another pay rise and voted to keep their inappropriate behaviour secret. What happened to Cameron’s claim openness is the best disinfectant? Another day another broken promise by Cameron. Remember his strong words about clearing up Westminster? More secret, more corruption. The same shower and cover ups as before. This leaves the whips in an advantageous position to coerce MPs as we saw on TV some years ago.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        You say;- Corbyn is solidly anti-EU as far as I can see from his past statements

        But no longer it seems, for some reason or other.

        Cameron claimed to be a Eurosceptic and even a low tax Conservative at Heart once too.

        Such politicians can only be judged on their actions. How do you tell when they are lying, when their lips are moving it seems.

        • eeyore
          Posted February 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          In this context, it’s interesting to note that so long as the British opinion polls showed a solid majority for Staying, the best deal Mr Cameron could get was hardly worth the trouble of negotiating. Now they are moving toward Leaving, we learn that Mr Tusk, president of the European Council, has “cleared his diary” for urgent talks with other EU leaders amid “a very fragile political process”.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger; “the possibility of a EU security force being deployed on the streets of Athens, or elsewhere, to enforce and impose austerity”

        Oh do stop scaremongering!

        Why would your scenario happen, doesn’t Greece have a police force, if they do not or the local/national police force have on-mass sided with protesters then surely Greece would deploy her own security force.

        When some States within the USA had race related riots last year and the civil police could not cope (or more to the point, were the issue of riots) the State called in their own respective elements of the National Guard, not even asking for help from other states National Guard units, nor did they call in the US Army.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          If they have the power to do this and the UK cannot refuse why can this not happen?
          Come on Jerry think it through.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Anything could happen, the question is if it is likely to happen – all the time Greece has her own police and domestic military security forces the likelihood of @Roy Grainger scenario happen is extremely thin [1], there will be no ‘Prague Spring’ outcome, do stop scaremongering as it actually plays into the hands of the BSE campaign rather than against…

            Come on Edward think it through. 🙂

            [1] and could happen today, even without a ‘European Army’, if events really did turn nasty then NATO could intervene, remember Kosovo?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            Not just Greece Jerry, which is what Roy originally said.
            If our troops were under the control of the EU they could be deployed anywhere.
            Simple majority vote by the 27 member states.

            I think uprisings against worsening austerity, unemployment and uncontrolled immigration in Europe are quite possible in years to come.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Not just Greece [..//..]”

            NATO could decide to intervene (like it did in Kosovo), it would be very difficult for the UK to avoid getting involved even post a Brexit if asked.

            It says far more about you that you think the EU (USoE) will be another Warsaw Pact, do you really think that countries of the old Iron Curtain (half of Germany included) would sit back and allow it. These silly “EUSSR” type rants do more damage to the Brexit cause than good. Stop the silly scaremongering.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

            There was consent for Kosovo
            Or do you assert the people and Parliament were opposed?

            I note you keep saying “rant” every time your weak pedantic arguments are found out.
            Silly scaremongering…what on earth are you blabbering on about.
            Come on Jerry get a grip.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; When you come up with a substantive argument then I will stop accusing you of having a rant!

            Come on, tell us why a European Army could not work…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Would you actually recognise any argument you disagree with?
            Your challenge is silly Jerry.
            You need to ask yourself if you want the UK’s armed forces to be controlled by our own Prime Minister and elected Parliament or be controlled by the 27 or more nations of the EU.
            I’m still not having a rant
            Quite calm.
            Quite happy.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “You need to ask yourself if you want the UK’s armed forces to be controlled by our own Prime Minister”

            But there would be no “UK Prime Minster” if we stay in the EU -with the inevitable creation of a USoE, any more than there is a President of Texas!

            Once again you fail to actually come up with a substantive argument as you why a European Army could not work, all you do is repeat the same anti EU rhetoric.

            I, like many, do not want a European Army because I do not want to be a part of the future USoE [1] (mostly due to pure economic arguments, not nationalistic social, ethnic or military reasons like so many), but that is not to say that should the electorate decide we remain in the EU/USoE such an Army could not work -considering that most of the existing forces work happily alongside each other now by way of NATO.

            [1] if the UK really needs to become a state within a larger united state/country then on many levels it would make far more sense to apply to become the 51st state; not the 28th…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            There would be no Prime Minister…come on Jerry don’t be silly
            You actually think the UK would have no Parliament no MPS no Prime Minister in a developed EU
            So no elections in the UK
            Quite ridiculous
            It’s not about if it could work
            The answer to that type of question is always yes it could posibly work
            But it’s a red herring
            The actual question is do we want our armed forces controlled by the votes of 27 other nations

          • Jerry
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            @Edward; You really do seem to have a block when it comes to realising that should we stay in the EU there will be no EU with 27 other member countries, complete with sovereign governments, it will become the United States of Europe. If you thinking that there will be a Prime Minster of the ‘United Kingdom’ (or one for any other current EU member country) then perhaps you might like to share with us who is the current President of Texas…!

            There is a Governor of Texas though, but he has no power to refuse Pentagon orders to Texan troops of the US Army based or stationed in the state.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

            Your views on the EU are a nonsensical fantasy Jerry
            No UK elections
            No political parties
            No Parliament
            No Prime Minister
            Come on Jerry
            You are being very silly

          • Jerry
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; So the EU has abandoned one of their founding principles, that of the “Ever closer Union” then. Prey what is free movement of people all about then, what is the Euro currency all about, why even the wish for a European Army (when the same European cooperation could be had via NATO in most cases), why do certain other eurosceptics on this site talk about their fears of being “ruled from Berlin”, are they wrong, are they ‘being silly’ too?

            Is Kate Hoey wrong when she stated that the coming referendum will be a vote between independence of being a part of a United States of Europe, is she being silly?

            The only person being silly, and very argumentative, is you Edward.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Im not arguing the United States of Europe in the future is not a possibility
            You as usual when stuck are changing the focus of the argument
            I am saying your opinion that the UK will not have elections, a Parliament, nor a Prime Minister in the future is a total nonsensical fantasy

          • Jerry
            Posted February 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “You as usual when stuck are changing the focus of the argument”

            Cough! Talk about filthy pots and pans trying to call a kettle dusty, Edward you have have had more twists and turns in your argument, never mind logic, that can be found on the average roller-coaster ride, more ‘positions’ than there are on a professional football field.

            “I am saying your opinion that the UK will not have elections, a Parliament, nor a Prime Minister in the future is a total nonsensical fantasy”

            Then you will have no problems in naming the President of Texas and citing the Texan constitution were it give the said president the power to veto the wishes of the US Defence Department and Pentagon, never mind a US Presidential decree.

            Edward, you seem to have a very strange idea as to what a Political Union is. Should we remain in the EU, we might have a Governor, even a state legislative, but if you think that it (or any of the other 27 states legislatives [1]) will have an upward power of veto over decisions made at the EU level then that will be a first anywhere in the world.

            [1] I actually expect far more than 27 such states legislatives, given that the EU seems hell bent on a policy of regionalisation, the UK would almost certainly be split into at least the four nations.

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      “The UK wishes to avoid the creation of an EU army and navy directly under the control of the EU where member states have no say in whether to participate or not. ”

      The actions of your leader in dismantling the UK’s defence capability show that some see an EU army as the way forward .

      Which side is he fighting for ?

      • bluedog
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is on record as saying he wants to see the EU stretch from the Atlantic to the Urals. A man with such dreams is clearly on their side, not ours. He hears the voices.

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      “Translation: armed suppression of an anti-EU or nationalist demonstration. etc ed”

      We are constantly told that erosion of our liberties and our privacy are to make us safer from external enemies .

      State education has been deliberately been dumbed down and ordinary peoples access to a good education have been restricted .

      It’s become pretty clear that HM Govt and the establishment view British Citizens as the real enemy .

  2. The Active Citizen
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    My goodness JR, you really are on cracking form. What a great article summarising all the key points.

    If anyone wishes to be scared further by the EU’s military ambitions, try reading this contained in the EU’s legal content website.

    If anyone doubts the EU’s intentions, the Lisbon Treaty says: “The common security and defence policy shall include the progressive framing of a common Union defence policy.”

    Remainers will say that the EU still refers to nation states being in control, however you rightly point out that “The EU has a habit of moving from voluntary co-operation to legal requirements in other areas.”

    Spot on. More power to your elbow, JR.

    If the EU could appoint Baroness Ashton as their Foreign Minister, heaven only knows who they’d appoint as their Minister of Defence.

    • DaveM
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I would echo your first sentence. As someone said yesterday, the formation of all these articles into a pamphlet for UK-wide distribution would be invaluable for the Leave campaign. People would, I’m convinced, read it and digest it.

    • stred
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      It is worth having a look at the list of heads of NATO. Initially they chose distinguished generals. Soon the politicians took over. The ex PM of Denmark is the current head and regularly supports sending NATO to the Russian borders, as he thinks they are about to invade us, while supporting the expansion of the EU eastwards. Have a look at the CVs of politicians like this. They move between the Council of Europe, the Commission, and other international organisations and conferences like jumping fleas.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Doubtless they will be as good at a common defence as they have proved to be with migration, fishing, CAP, the EURO, the ERM, the economy, over regulation of everything and nearly everything else they touch.

  3. DaveM
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t disagree that actually, if we disregard the fiasco in the Med last year, that EU sponsored projects such as anti-piracy have done a fairly good job in some respects. However, the main purpose of Armed Forces is to defend the homeland, protect interests abroad, and pursue foreign policy.

    Why an economic and trading bloc requires an army is beyond me. The main motivation I can see is that they are scared of Russia, and believe that by forming an army they will show less weakness. But the fact that there seem to be so many cover-ups and that the police in many EU countries are being told to protect criminals and foreigners against their own people is worrying, and makes me wonder what the EUcrats would use their army for. I suppose a French force is more likely to follow orders to fire on a Greek mob than a Greek force would be, although I very much doubt it, because most soldiers are working class human beings.

    One of my motivations for joining the RM – and a factor which still motivates me – is loyalty to the country and the folk who live in the country, as well as a wish to defend our way of life and to defend the country so other people can make the country better and richer.

    It seems nothing that the EU does is without some sinister ulterior motive. If we were to come under command or control of a central EU HQ and therefore open to taskings which would be pursuing a foreign bureaucrat’s ambitions, I’d have to leave. Tony Blair’s questionable motives for invading Iraq made me think hard, and I was involved in that operation from Day 1.

    I hate the EU, and wouldn’t want to fight for it, let alone die for it.

    I’m a ROYAL Marine, not a EUropean Marine.

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    NATO is appropriate for most security situations but special cases arise when a different arrangement is needed. If Europe has a particular security problem that non European NATO nations members prefer not to be involved in then there nothing wrong with Europe have a separate institution to deal with it. However the EU is not the right body to set it up and control it. In fact a European equivalent of NATO could be set up without any EU input at all and as you point out it is very dangerous to our independence of action if it is. A European military alliance is not a bad idea an ETA or some such name functioning exactly as NATO does.

    I believe at one time there was a separate body SEATO set up now disbanded by some Asian countries and others so it is not an impracticable idea. Although as NATO exists it is hard to think that any European arrangement would be necessary very often. Although there is a case for it to be permanent as Europe must be prepared to be self sufficient if other NATO members are unable or are not prepared to come to it’s aid if threatened.

    We have already made the case that the EU is bad for our wealth, health and so much more. That we could without the EU so be able do away with much that it does and be better off for it and those things that we wish to carry on doing cooperatively could be continued without it’s presence. An EU army is just an expansion of the number of roles it has and increases the power it has over us. Something we do not want or need.

  5. Margaret
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The rescue missions you mention are worthwhile. The power to intervene where people are suffering should be a global effort , not just the responsibility of the west.
    We should ensure that we have continuing power to be able to veto military action.
    I am never 100 % sure about clarity of intention in any aspect of life. We all know that particularly in business, one thing is stated whilst others work in an opposite direction to build and stop the parasites claiming responsibility for their ideas.

  6. Pete
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Lets hope the EU doesn’t want to rival NATO which has invaded or bombed numerous sovereign countries, been complicit in hundreds of war crimes and enabled Washington to continue it’s evil and endless wars. The best thing for the entire world is for both NATO and the EU to collapse.

    • bluedog
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Why abolish both NATO and the EU? These are contradictory positions – NATO = success, EU = failure. Let’s stick to success and eliminate the failed experiment.

      Sadly your hope that the EU doesn’t want to replace NATO is misplaced. The aim of the EU is a United States of Europe, politically cohesive and with military and economic power to rival that of the United States of America.

  7. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Is this the way they might seize assets on debt default? Like Greece in total.

    With the BBC stuffing the news (often stale) down the air waves per 30 mins I never heard anything about your meeting with Farage et al yesterday. And still nothing this morning. Thank You anyway..its been long in the brewing?

  8. DaveM
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    OT: Once again, the BBC has produced an elaborate pro-EU article.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-95a417ab-0982-4512-b550-20d68fd53f87 .

    The first few paragraphs appear to be anti-EU, mourning the demise of UK trade as our govts turned their backs on our Commonwealth Anglosphere friends and looked to the dictators of the EEC. However, it descends into pro-EU “success stories”.

    The EU-sceptic remarks are in the first half of the article though. It goes to show the standard of writers for the BBC – anyone who writes a paper of any sort should know that people only ever read the first 3 paragraphs of anything!! So thanks, BBC.

  9. Jerry
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    John, whilst I totally agree with your headline and conclusions your argument between appears to born out of knowing that the majority of your audience are the already ‘converted’ (if they ever needed to be converted), your rational does little to persuade those who are not. As others (in business, politicos and others) have said before, the choice is between a Brexit and being a part of a ‘United States of Europe’, and as such how many of the undecided or ill-informed might simply reply; “So what, the various State armies successfully combined into one centrally controlled USofA Army”…

    Your argument has anti EU rhetoric in spadefuls but very little detail as to why such a European Army would not work or why it is such a bad idea other than member countries/states loosing their independence in the same way as any of the 50 states of the USA have, nor would a USoE necessarily be outside of the NATO alliance. People want and need detail, not vague scaremongering as argument, please do not descended to the depths that the BSE group have.

    • bluedog
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      “So what, the various State armies successfully combined into one centrally controlled USofA Army”…’

      After a bloody civil war that cost some 400,000 lives.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        @Bluedog; “After a bloody [American] civil war that cost some 400,000 lives.”

        Remind me, how many lives did the European/North Africa conflicts of WW2 cost in human lives?…

        @Edward; “So should all who want to vote leave, remain quiet?”

        How you come to that conclusion when specifically I asked for more detail, more reasons?! What ever…

        • Edward2
          Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          I do not agree that pointing out the intentions of the EU is to have armed forces of member states under its control is “vague scaremongering” as you put it.
          You could easliy have a future situation where our armed forces could be deployed under orders from the EU without the support or consent of the people of the UK or Parliament.
          If you feel this is fine then I am shocked.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            @Edeward2; “forces could be deployed under orders from the EU without the support or consent of the people of the UK or Parliament.”

            But should the UK not have a Brexit there would not be a (sovereign) UK parliament. What do you not understand about the eventual and inevitable creation of a United States of Europe -why do you think Europhiles even now refer to “Europe” when they actually mean European Union. As for popular consent, when has the lack of that ever stopped the UK government deploying our armed forces?!

            Your irrational argument seems to be along the lines that the US army in (say) Texas, by way of the State Legislature, should be allowed to refuse orders from the Pentagon, if Texans wants that then they will need a “Texit” first, just as we want a Brexit so to pre-empt such issues…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            It’s not irrational Jerry it will be a reality if we remain.
            Get down off your high horse and have some respect for other people’s opinions.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “It’s not irrational Jerry it will be a reality if we remain.”

            The disliking of something because it might become reality is irrational when you (and many others on this site) have not yet suggested one technical, moral or political reason why a “European Army” (as part of a USoE) could not work other than a dislike of the EU -even more so when most of the elements that would make up such an army have been closely entwined for years under the NATO banner anyway.

            “Get down off your high horse and have some respect for other people’s opinions.”

            …and many an undecided voter reading our hosts site might well ask the same of you Edward. Any more filthy pots and pans you might put on display?!…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            Its not about disking it Jerry, it is about me pointing this out without your automatic pedantic contrary responses.

            I prefer our armed forces to be under the control of our Prime Minister and Parliament that I have the ability to directly vote for.
            I am not in favour of them to be controlled in the future by a majority vote of 27 or more member states.
            It is as simple as that.
            That you argue against this saddens me.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Once again you refuse to answer my question, I can thus only assume you do not want debate, you want to post unquestioned rants and rhetoric.

            That you argue on this saddens me, as it does far more damage to the Brexit campaign than you realise, but then perhaps that’s the point, you don’t actually want a Brexit at all, hence all your silly OTT (read, Brexit damaging) EU rhetoric, perhaps you are not alone on this site…

            We already have, in some respects, a European Army, it even has its HQ in Brussels, it is called NATO, nor does our PM control all aspects of our involvement, as you would understand if you understood the basic fundamentals of the NATO agreement/treaty.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            Resorting to accusations of rants again I notice
            Getting desperate again Jerry?
            Your ideas for achieving Brexit are odd and certainly not mainstream
            Virtually everyone who posts you argue the opposite to
            I’ve even seen you argue the opposite to how you argued a few days earlier
            I suspect you just like being pedantic and contrary.
            NATO is a different organisation to the proposed EU Armed force as we will see as it develops.
            Just the number of nations involved and who pays in make it very different.
            But your mind is sadly closed.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; If you don’t want your fact-less comments called rants or rhetoric then come up with some (at least credible) facts!

            Oh right, so not hating the EU but believing that the UK can do better outside of the EU is not mainstream, perhaps it isn’t, but just remember this, it will be people like me (people who do not describe themselves as eurosceptic or what ever) who decide one way of the other on the Brexit issue.

            As for disagreeing, sorry but have we not been here before, and you lost that argument also, some times I might well be in total disagreement, sometimes I might be playing Devils Advocate, testing the value or worth of peoples (or even our hosts) comments, it’s called debate. PM’s do it all the time, they call them probing amendments I believe.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            But they are not rants Jerry
            You resort to bad tempered personal comments all the time.
            As soon as you are challenged on any opinions you post.
            And you think your style is adult level debate?

          • Jerry
            Posted February 16, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “But they are not rants”

            Then prove they are not rants, come up with some (at least credible) facts, or even checkable notions based on what happens elsewhere in the world were there has been a political union.

            “You resort to bad tempered personal comments all the time.”

            But anyone who disagrees with you is being bad tempered in your opinion, as I’ve said elsewhere, you used to accuse @Bazman of the same when ever he pointed out that you were wrong.

            Oh and as for your last sentence, well at least it is debate, far more than you seem able to muster most of the time with nothing but wishful assertions but little or no facts.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      So should all who want to vote leave, remain quiet?

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    So we provide Carriers with useless planes as Dave has scrapped great swathes of equipment in preparation for joining the EDF.
    I assume control will be from the Reichstag in Berlin.
    Ideal for quelling civil unrest when the self inflicted migrant crisis explodes.

    Reply The Carriers will have good warplanes on them

    • Jerry
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; “I assume control will be from the Reichstag in Berlin.”

      After the last 15 years of various and errant military involvement by UK armed forces I suspect that many a German national might be worried that control of any such European Army will be from Whitehall in London…

      • Edward2
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        This about who controls decisions Jerry.
        Right or wrong I would prefer our own Parliament to have that decision.
        Would you like the EU to decide?

        • Jerry
          Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Yes I agree [1], but in the event of there being no Breexit and the almost certain (eventual) creation of a USoE there will be no UK Parliament as such!

          Anyway, you talk about our own Parliament and control, but even today we only have a certain amount of control under NATO, there are things we could not do without higher permission -from either NATO central command or the USA, there are areas were it would be very difficult to remain neutral on in the event of NATO action, if you think our Parliament has 100% control even today Edward then you are sadly mistaken.

          [1] that is why I want a Brexit, so that the UK government, within international law, can make all its own decisions.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Well yes, if we are subsumed into being a region of the EU our Parliament would have little or no power.
            I never said 100% control but in NATO there is greater power and it will be necessary for the House of Commons to vote in favour.
            Two red herrings in one post Jerry, well done.

            Still not answering the question though.
            Would you like the EU to decide?

          • Jerry
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “and it will be necessary for the House of Commons to vote in favour.”

            Sorry but you seem to have little idea how NATO operates, nor its basic covariance, as I said the other week, in certain circumstances there would be no time for parliament to sit never mind vote!

            “Still not answering the question though.
            Would you like the EU to decide?”

            How many more times, I want a Brexit, but if we remain in the EU (with the inevitable USoE) then our main government will be from Brussels, so yes the EU would decide.

            Three red herrings in one post Edward, well done. 🙂

          • Edward2
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            I understand how NATO works Jerry
            You need to do some checking before sounding off.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “I understand how NATO works Jerry”

            You claim that parliament would need to debate and vote on any UK involvement in NATO action, could MPs even assemble in 180 seconds – you might need to ponder that, as I suspect that you do not actually remember the Cold war years and the real worry that it might turn very hot (and incoming)…

            “do some checking before sounding off”

            More filthy pots and pans.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            You openly show you have no idea how NATO makes its decisions and how decisions about going to war in an emergency are made by them.
            To compare NATO’s organisation to the way the EU will control our armed forces is ridiculous.
            Come on Jerry stop arguing for the fun of it and do some research.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh do stop trying to call the kettle dusty, it is you who has no idea.

            Tony Benn might have been wrong on many things but he was totally correct when it came to how much control the UK had (has) over it’s own defences (the use of them) whilst in NATO [1] – not that I wish for the UK to leave, I hasten to add!

            “To compare NATO’s organisation to the way the EU will control our armed forces is ridiculous.”

            More silly, unsupported, purely nationalistic, anti EU, rhetoric. Europeans already control much of NATO, why do you think they would not be able to do like wise with for European army -alongside NATO.

            [1] why do you think France, at one time, removed her military forces from direct NATO control, whilst still remaining a part of the over all treaty?

            Reply There is a vital difference between the EU and NATO. The UK has a veto for us over any NATO military activity, whereas we have lost our veto over many EU decisions and new laws.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; Not once we are swallowed up into a (virtual or physical) United States of Europe with central government from Brussels, that is the point. Also I very much doubt that our NATO veto would count for much should NATO come under attack, our defences as part of NATO umbrella would be considered a legitimate target too by our foes. Just as we no doubt would have considered a similar situation during the Cold War had there been any ‘veto’ waving members of the Warsaw Pact.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            Now Jerry you even argue our expert host is wrong!
            One of the most well informed MP on the EU in Parliament
            Honestly Jerry come on just realise when you are so plainly wrong.

    • ian wragg
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Not so John. The F35’s have a massive vtol fan in the centre which is redundant is flight. It reduces the range and payload and further more, conventional aircraft cannot use the carriers.
      White elephants if ever there were any.

      • bluedog
        Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        Only the F35B has the vertical take-off fan. It reduces range and payload by 30% compared to the standard aircraft but the importance of having integral fleet air-power more than compensates for that difference. The F35 is a significant advance on the Harrier.

        The carriers could be converted to fly conventional aircraft if enough money was spent. It’s surely a simple cost-benefit equation.

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted February 12, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          The F35B is the marine version and plagued with problems. Putting catapults and arrestor gear is far from a straight forward task when retrofitting.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            @Ian Wragg; “Putting catapults and arrestor gear is far from a straight forward task when retrofitting.”

            Indeed, but I though the MOD changed there minds again [1] on this, after removing the catapults etc. from the spec. they reinstated the provision, thus the Carriers whilst initially not fitted could be so installed without the need to a major refit?

            [1] to much derision from Labour I seem to recall

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Indeed we surely must say no.

    Having said that Blair counter productive, damaging and pointless wars (one of which was entered into on a blatant lie) and indeed Cameron’s wars were all conducted against the sensible wishes and higher wisdom of the people.

    Unfortunately parliament still supported them for some odd reason.

  12. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I wonder if there is any chance (I hope so) that a Regiment or Ship or Squadron would say that they have sworn loyalty to the Queen and bollox to what the wretched EU does or does not want to do. Who would die for the EU? Not many I reckon.

  13. Bob
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    “The EU has created a naval force in the Mediterranean to pick up economic migrants and asylum seekers exposed to dangers at sea.”

    Problem, Reaction, Solution…this is how the EU operates.

    When Nigel Farage exposed the EUs plans to militarise, the former Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg claimed it was “dangerous fantasy”.

    Lies and deceit from beginning to end, fully supported by our so called “Public Service Broadcaster”.

    • matthu
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      When the former Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg described the EUs plans to militarise as “dangerous fantasy” he was also deputy PM under David Cameron. So Cameron shares responsibility for that statement as he certainly did not contradict it!

  14. alan jutson
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Thet want to creep into every single aspect of our lives and Government.

    They will not stop until they have complete control.

    That is all you need to remember.

    The only way is out.

    Simples.

  15. Know-Dice
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Too scary, just like the USSR all over again 🙁

  16. Douglas Carter
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The idea of an EU military force brings Brussels to its most cynical and its most purposeless intent. Very few Governments in the EU have the remotest interest in the subjective matter of ‘Defence’ and those which do, retain their interest in it for reasons of industrial ascendancy rather than practical Strategic preparation.

    It’s music to the ears of most EU treasuries and Finance Ministers since it offloads the tedious expensive nuisance away from Governmental responsibility to a central administration which can be relied upon to dither and to conduct itself in the most limited fashion it can get away with. In terms of subjective matter, the idea should have died a final death decades ago but keeps rearing its impotent head for exactly the reason it’s so financially and politically attractive. In industrial terms, you may recall this John, from your earlier days in the HoC.

    In the early 1980s, the UK, France, Germany and Italy (later Spain) were compiling a recommendation for a Ground Attack and Air Defence fighter which would eventually become today’s Typhoon, used by the RAF, Luftwaffe etc. France was unhappy with the work share and eventually in the late summer of 1985 published their version of a ‘Joint, International’ project.

    Their recommendation was for an airframe designed and built wholly in France by Avions Marcel Dassault. It would be equipped solely with French Aviation electronics, French systems and French weapons. The joint international partners were to be offered a generous opportunity to fund the project. When that was rejected by all other potential partners, France withdrew immediately and built a rival independent aircraft.

    That’s not a one-off – it has been a similar story over the decades with other potential joint projects and there’s no point attempting to raise them again. Where fraternal solidarity collides with the essential interests of some EU nations, the woolly-minded utopia is discarded at the front door. The problem being the UK Civil Service and far too many of our politicians would be only too happy to continue with the delusion and hand irreplaceable tracts of industrial advantage to our alleged ‘friends’. (‘Friends’ in the Norman Tebbit sense – describing the ‘friends’ of Margaret Thatcher in his touching tribute subsequent to her death).

    A European Defence Force in inception is possibly the best argument for EU withdrawal – even for not joining in the first instance. It’s a definitive mechanism for the weak-minded in our political systems for inflicting further weakness on our own nation. It’s a route which needs to be denied to such people.

  17. bigneil
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Re the line of a naval force picking them up in the Med. What happened to “picking them up and instantly returning them”? – or is it now blatantly clear that the whole of Africa can set off from Libya knowing they will be picked up and delivered to their goal, with Cameron having their houses built, ready and furnished for their arrival, bank account opened and benefits in so they can instantly fit in with their fellow non-integrated non-contributing ( and no intention of ever doing either) community? We are being made to pay for our own demise as a country, with Cameron in full support of it.

    The EU army will NOT be used to repel the migration/invasion. More like to repress US from complaining about the “wonderful leaders”. When will the EU come up with a North Korean style display where thousands of schoolkids have to sing how wonderful the EU leader is? I believe I read somewhere that the EU has already ruled it illegal to criticise them, so with the EAW, most of us who post on here can be whisked away to “vanish”.

    Gaddafi and co would be classed as fluffy kittens to what the EU is clearly aiming to be.

    To finish – I saw the Conservative party broadcast last night with CMD having an incredibly smooth forehead. Makeup? photoshop? or surgery to make him look less worried. Still looked totally untrustworthy.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      @bigneil; Re the line of a naval force picking them up in the Med. What happened to “picking them up and instantly returning them”?

      Unless you can prove that someone doesn’t come from the recognised conflict zone they say they are from how and were do you “return them”, it would be like you thumbing a 5 mile lift home ‘after-hours’ one night from a passing police car, only to be dropped off 200 miles from your actual home because the the Police don’t believe you and thus drop you off were they think you live!

      As for the rest of your comments, they say far more about yourself than they do anyone or anything else. 🙁

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense Jerry
        Australia shows how firm treatment has reduced numbers attempting to enter and has saved lives.
        Temporary detention until they decide where they want to be returned to is a good policy.
        Once understood and publicised this stops the majority risking their lives.

        • Jerry
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; You are talking about the Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre.

          That is not hat @bigniel was talking about, Australia (if needed) remove such people to the off-shore (dependency) Island, at a cost to the Australian tax payer, they do not arboreally, upon arrival, decide which country the refugees, asylum seekers (call them what you like) truly come from and forthwith deport then back to that country with little or not actual proof of their once residency or indeed safety. More to the point, Australia still process their asylum paperwork in accordance to UN law.

          Nor has it actually stopped such refugees, it is just that they are often now intercepted by Austrian naval forces etc. before actually arriving on Austrian shores. In 2013 the centre, due to a refugee surge, actually exceeded its plained for total capacity, not bad for a centre opened in 2001 and according to you causing migrants to turn their boats about and return home…

          No one is suggesting that these north African migrants/refugees etc. could not be treated similarly, trouble is those off-shore Greek Island are now getting rather crowded… No doubt not helped by the West’s knee-jerk reaction to seeing a chance for the removal long standing political foes in certain countries.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            More pedantic nonsense zJerry
            Australia’s policy compared to the EU has been a huge success.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; It probably has been, for one simple reason, Australia doesn’t have at least three civil wars on or close to its shores (read, boarders)!

            Oh and the only person being ‘pedantic’ is you Edward, attempting to narrow every little pin-head detail down to the last possible ‘position’ just to prove that you were 0.01% correct. Until the post 9/11 war in Afghanistan, and then the Bush/Blair war in Iraq, the only real asylum issues the EU had were around the south of Spain from North Africa.

  18. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Great post John. Will be a disaster if allowed to happen. I wonder what will happen if the Falkland Islands get targeted again? From the support we received from the EU last time, I suspect we would not be allowed to defend it. Another good reason to tell them to stick it up their Juntas!!

  19. Martyn G
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The terrifying thing about “a force for the EU” is that it would ultimately be under the command and control of unelected commissioners, who already have a long track record of getting almost everything wrong. Let us imagine that the situation in Greece worsens and they cannot control the entry of immigrants and the EU sends in very own “force for the EU” to take over the borders. That would in effect put Greece under military control.

    Is that unimaginable? Who or what could prevent that from happening – the EU Parliament perhaps? Not a chance – it has no power to overturn the diktats of the commissioners so the UK absolutely must keep away from becoming embedded into the “force for the EU” and thus unable to decide where, when and most importantly why it is to be deployed.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    As a member of NATO we contribute to its strategy and operations ; this in addition to our own priorities . If we join the EUcorps , it becomes another relationship and , who knows , another potential strain on our resources . In any event the direction and capability of EUcorps is unknown and certainly subject to the influence of France and Germany . Germany adopts a “no action involvement” code in the use of its armed forces , this being the case would mean – if we were members , that our front line would be more exposed to any action .

    It would be a bad choice for us to make and we must steer clear of it .

    • bluedog
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      ‘Germany adopts a “no action involvement” code in the use of its armed forces ,’

      Currently true. The real surprise is that German pacifism has lasted over 70 years, and we can thank NATO for that, not the EU. The migrant crisis has the potential to engineer a complete reversal in German attitudes to the use of German military power. One can identify a number of factors. In the first instance there is no doubt that with Merkel in power there will be no retreat from pacifism, militarism is not in her DNA. However, given the likelihood that Merkel will be replaced, sooner rather than later, the attitudes of the next Chancellor may be critical in any evolution towards a more militaristic stance. At present the migrant crisis should be containable by existing German agencies, assuming the political will to use them effectively. Failure of these agencies to act effectively may lead to popular calls for more robust policy and greater use of force, even though not strictly necessary.

      It is well known that 50% of German GDP is dependent on export earnings. As the global economy contracts and German unemployment rises we can expect social tension between native Germans and migrants to rise sharply. A negative feed back loop of increasing violence could emerge.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        @bluedog; “The real surprise is that German pacifism has lasted over 70 years, and we can thank NATO for that, not the EU”

        Hmm, difficult call, the creation of NATO has a lot of parallels with the later creation of what has become the EU (1952).

        Had the USA not become involved after the Treaty of Brussels (1948) and thus the actual creation of NATO (1949), and certainly in the later face of the Warsaw Pact, a “European Army” (or at least very much stronger alliances) might well have been formed in the early 1950s rather than NATO its self.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brussels
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO

        • Edward2
          Posted February 13, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          How does that alter the fact as stated by bluedog?
          Bending history in a bizarre manner with some odd “what ifs”
          Another post without a point from you Jerry.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Germany was signed up to a future of post WW2 “pacifism” (as @bluedog calls it) in and from 1945 as part of the post war settlement process, nothing to do with NATO (which didn’t exist until -around five years later, duh!).

            Whilst the point you missed in your wish to pick yet another pointless argument, is that had NATO not been created then there would still have been NATO like cooperation between European countries, with support and mutual defence born out of that 1948 Treaty of Brussels. Did you bother to read that page on the Treaty of Brussels, did you follow the link to the WEU (Western European Union) alliance, I suspect not…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            Is duh! really necessary Jerry?
            Would you say that chatting to someone in a bar for example?

            So in your opinion if NATO had not been created it still would have existed.
            Oh come on Jerry.
            Total nonsense.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Was a “Duh!” really necessary, yes when someone is (pointlessly and for the sake of it) arguing about 60 and 70 odd year old historical events that are a mere clink away on the internet, what are you going to argue about next, Gallipoli…

            Oh and I said NATO like, I do wish you would bother to read what I say, not reply to what you think or hoped I said. Also it is not “nonsense”, go read up on what WEU was. Both NATO and WEU being a product of the same Treaty of Brussels.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_European_Union

            Never mind Edward, I suspect you and I have something in common, we both hated History at school (thought it was dull and boring, irrelevant and all that), difference is I got over it.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            The correct answer Jerry was, no its not necessary to be rude when responding.
            Sadly you seek to justify your poor manners.
            And then you repl with even more sarcasm and agression.
            Sad really.

  21. Atlas
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Exactly John,

    The Five Eyes is real – and not EU vapourware.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The sooner we are out of the EU the better. If we dither much longer, when we try to leave this force will be used to prevent us doing so!

  23. MikeP
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    John I think you hit the nail on the head the other day by reminding us of the differing histories of the EU member countries. We fought tyranny to maintain our democracy and free the world of fascism, the rest (largely) have lived under occupation, tyranny and dictatorships so any marginal improvement is upside and a blessed relief.

    Many of us believe the UK has no wish to be governed, over-ridden or down-trodden by any other nation on Earth, we are fiercely independent by nature as we have achieved so much for the common good of the world – eg our democracy, justice system, our forces, science, medicine, sport, values. Equally we understand the value of inter-dependence, mutual co-operation and support where it benefits the common good. The Commonwealth and NATO being the best examples and the EU perhaps the worst.

    NATO has a proven command structure and a track record of deploying military forces quickly and decisively, God help the EU if ever they were to have to arrive decisively at anything where lives depended on it !?! Lord Ashcroft’s Dutch focus group tweet this morning says it all – “If Britain leaves, we’ll be left behind with all these losers!”

  24. Colin Hart
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    In the 1950s the original Six very nearly formed a European Defence Union but it foundered thanks to the French.

    More recently we went into Afghanistan without any parliamentary approval as part of a NATO operation. Two of the reasons given: defending women’s rights and the war on drugs.

    Make of both these strands what you will.

    As to the future, if the federalists have their way and a EU army starts to look a reality it will only get to happen if the USA allows it to happen. They might very well if they think it is the only way to get the Europeans, us included, to maintain defence spending.

    But we are not just talking about an army. Don’t forget the force de frappe. The French could once again be the ones to scupper these plans.

  25. Mockbeggar
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard several ‘pro EU’ commentators recently say something to the effect that the EU has kept Europe from having any repeat of World War II when, in fact, the peace has been kept by NATO very successfully for the last 60+ years. Unlike the EU, NATO avoided getting involved in the Ukranian debacle that has simply propped up the image of Putin as the ‘strong man’ of Russia with all the disasters that has brought about.

  26. RB
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    In Germany now,it’s illegal to demonstrate,and now they are censoring the media. It’s a police state. German people wake up and see what your politicians are doing.!!!! It’ll be coming here next.

  27. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    10 years ago The EU website was very upfront about creating a Rapid Reaction Force.

    Tabloid newspapers when giving quite good summaries of the Maastricht Treaty and when famously a leading pro-EU Conservative MP announced “I have never read it”…along with many MPs, the military nature of the EU was openly admitted.

    There was/is a clause which our media interpreted as the possibility of joint EU troops being deployed in any of its nation states not just to rid it or deter external aggression but importantly could be deployed for example if a government of the EU constituent nation needed assistance in quelling their own civil war.
    There were raised eyebrows at the time about the latter in particular with one or two people indicating how such could be applied if the civil war was for mainly the purpose of getting out of the EU.
    But all was quiet on the EU front since then. It came as a complete surprise, astonishing, when in the debate on the EU between Farage and Clegg that the now Ex-Lib Dem Leader absolutely denied even the possibility of such an armed force.
    It is to be hoped such surprising denials of EU workings are not going to feature in the EU Referendum Campaign;. if so, then the whole Referendum may as well be called off as a fraud.

    The EU is very quiet and obviously does not wish to talk about the long planned accession of Russia into the EU with 2024 being the year of complete integration. Lengthy negotiations between the EU and the Russian Federation took place. There were disagreements on territorial issues around Kalingrad. But this was not considered a stumbling block. The main negotiating point appeared to be around Russia’s mineral and oil reserves. It was said by non-EU sources that the Russians were using these resources as an ace bargaining negotiation position. The reason,- all economic pundits agreed was because “The survival of the EU is based almost entirely in gaining access to Russian energy. Without it, the EU does not have a stand-alone future. ” There were several huge articles about this in one particular financial newspaper at the time. It was also indicated the addition of the Russian army a definite plus for “EU Defence” strategy on its eastern and southern borders. The “threat” of China was mentioned. Certainly thinking in the EU was of a global nature and of a mega-state.
    The accession negotiations fell through well before Ukraine events. Some commentators said Russia wanted too many concessions before joining. Oddly, nothing to do about Russia’ s model of democracy
    But we all know non-democracy has long since grown into insignificance as a reason for excluding any country from joining the EU and its military forces.

    The EU and its officials are pro-active in international affairs outside its borders with one of its officials recognising on a visit to Ukraine, “the threat of Russia” ( surely sour grapes ). It seems to be a case, “if you won’t join us then you’re our enemy.”
    The EU is a very dangerous organisation especially when British politicians have openly hidden its very nasty military and super-state agenda.

  28. The Active Citizen
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Staying on JR’s subject of the EU and its defence ambitions, I’d like to predict some ominous developments which may happen between the EU and NATO.

    To give an idea of how ‘EU-think’ poisons our societies throughout Europe, let’s look at the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.

    Mr Stoltenberg was the former socialist Prime Minister of Norway (2005-2013) and an ardent Europhile. He managed to form a government in 2005 by making an alliance with Norway’s Socialist Left Party – even more socialist than Stoltenberg’s own Labour Party – and the Greens. Yes, I know….

    Fortunately the good berghers of Norway prevented him from taking their country into the EU, and still do to this day. This was no thanks to Mr Stoltenberg. Polls in Norway have shown that less than 20% of the population want to join the EU.

    Smart people, these Norwegians.

    On being voted out of office in 2013, Mr Stoltenberg became the UN’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. Yup, you’re starting to see a pattern developing here….

    On 26 March 2014, Mr Cameron told Parliament that he was backing Stoltenberg for the role of Secretary General of NATO. “I think Jens Stoltenberg would be an excellent candidate,” he said. And so it came to pass.

    To be completely fair, Mr Stoltenberg was fairly sound on defence spending in Norway – but then you would be, if you had Russia as a neighbour.

    Bringing things up-to-date, a couple of days ago Germany and Turkey asked for NATO’s help in the migrant boat crisis. (Frau Merkel now has the unilateral right to negotiate on behalf of the EU with foreign countries, as I’m sure you know….)

    You might well ask what on earth the migrant boat crisis has to do with NATO’s traditional role in our collective defence – particularly at a time when NATO needs to beef up its response to Russian moves on many fronts. Well, I’m right with you there.

    However this hasn’t stopped Mr Stoltenberg from making all kinds of positive noises to the EU. Yesterday Mr Stoltenberg made a speech about the upcoming NATO meeting: “During the course of this ministerial, we will also discuss how NATO can support allies in responding to the refugee and migrant crisis we see in Europe and close to Europe in the Middle East, Syria and Turkey. We will do so based on an initiative by Turkey.”

    Our host JR has written several books. In one that he referred to yesterday, the excellent “Death of Britain” which he wrote in 1999, his words were prophetic about the EU. I wonder if he’d like to foresee what might happen next to the EU’s manoeuvres in respect of its proposed combined armed forces?

    It would not surprise me to see the EU cosying up more and more to NATO, with its Europhile Secretary General. Not a big leap from there to the UK being forced to accept the EU’s place as a member of NATO, overruling the UK’s independence of action and massively distorting NATO’s future policies.

    Far-fetched? About as far-fetched as it was in the 1990’s thinking that the EU’s Court of Justice would one day have supremacy over our own Supreme Court…

    Any thoughts on this, JR?

  29. chris S
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Those of us who follow these matters are well aware of Brussels’ intentions in this respect. After all, their fledgling Superstate already has a flag, an anthem, a parliament, a court and a Foreign Service. ( I’ve always thought that calling it an “Action Service” was ominous ). The only thing the EU Superstate is currently short of is a military arm under it’s own control and they have been waiting for the right moment to create one for several years.

    The very thought of the like of Junkers and co being able to send British troops into harm’s way in our name fills me with horror. What would Corbyn and Sturgeon think of that, I wonder ?

    The most important questions are :

    1. Do we have an absolute veto over the formation of an EU-controlled military force or not ?

    2. Of crucial importance, do we have an absolute veto on any possible new legislation that they might introduce intended to make it compulsory to contribute forces and take part in any future operations ?

    I assume we would have an absolute veto if it were necessary for this needs to be enshrined in a new treaty but, is there any possibility that it could be introduced by the backdoor as so many other things have been ? By this I mean legislation through the commission and the parliament, where existing provisions could be “stretched” to create compulsory participation using an area of policy that is decided by Qualified Majority Voting ?

    These are vital issues for the OUT campaign and we need the answers to them now.

  30. Javelin
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Interesting article in Reuters today – a blog – talking about Russian disinformation. You can google “Reuters Russia hybrid war Germany” if you want to read the article.

    This article states that in March, the European Union established the East StratCom Task Force “to address Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns.”

    http://eeas.europa.eu/top_stories/2015/261115_stratcom-east_qanda_en.htm

    What I find concerning is that Russian “misinformation” – mainly concerns about immigration – is also shared by the majority of voters across the EU. So is this quasi-military-propaganda group trying to counter propaganda from without or from within?

  31. Tad Davison
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The EU poses a great many dangers, but for it to succeed in its final consumption and neutralisation of the United Kingdom, they depend upon lies, misinformation, and the ignorance of the general population who swallow it.

    The BBC carried a piece yesterday evening in which a small cross section of people were asked what the EU meant to them. One of the people the news team interviewed said they were worried that if Britain were to exit the EU, we couldn’t live in ‘splendid isolation’.

    Another said something to the effect that if we pulled out of the EU, we would have to find the money for all these refugees, and not get any from the EU.

    If those two statements are a measure of the understanding people have with regard to Britain’s membership of the EU and our possible exit therefrom, we on the ‘out’ side have a mountain to climb!

    A good broadcaster might have challenged those misconceptions, but as we have seen time and time again, that’s not the way of the BBC. They have a vested interest, and personally, I am sick of contributing towards it, like it or not. Were I a trade union member, I could at least decide not to pay towards the Labour party, the bulk of which are so overtly for continued EU membership.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • DaveM
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      I saw that, and the impression I got was that most of them were saying “I don’t really know”. Clearly the pro-EU propaganda hasn’t worked – all the more reason to start really pushing the positives of leaving; something which could be achieved by publishing all JR’s blogs and pushing them through doors. Can we get govt funding for that? I’m sure the “Europe and You” leaflets were govt sponsored. Goose, gander.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      That naughty old BBC were at it again tonight. The 10 o’clock national news carried a story about the diminution of the ports of Glasgow and Liverpool, stating that they are a shadow of their former selves when then exported our manufactured goods, and imported things like Canadian steel and New Zealand butter.

      Then they switched to Southampton container port, and said it had burgeoned since our entry into the EU 1973. Exporting things like precision engineering.

      Not one mention however of the massive trade deficit the UK has with the EU. An inconvenient truth that continues to pass the BBC by, but then how else might they convince the electorate to vote for ‘in’ unless they hide the facts from them?

      Tad

      Reply They did at least say we saw no threat to our trade with the EU when we leave. They also went on to say for the continent it is a political project resulting in EU government control which the UK does not want.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        I still think the BBC could have gone further – much further. To tell it like it is, is to report the facts accurately, and there is so much to say against the UK’s membership of the EU.

        Tad

    • Jerry
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      @Tad Davison; You clearly accept that the Brexit side have failed to get their message across, yet you blame the broadcasters (namely the BBC, as always) for the Brexit sides failings, what have the broadcasters got to do with mail-shots, web sites, social media, newsprint, magazines etc?

      Oh and if you think the BBC is biased towards the EU (or at least the status quo) you might have heart palpitation should you ever stumble upon Ch4 (News), which happens to have a very much higher viewer-ship amongst the all important 18 to 30 voting age group…

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        So it’s OK for the BBC to be biased because you think Channel 4 is too.
        Weird logic Jerry.

        • Jerry
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; A weird conclusion to come to, based on what I actually wrote, once again you prove that your replies are to what you think you read or what you hoped I wrote…

          Any and all political bias is unacceptable, from any broadcast in (or into) the UK, be it left-wing, right-wing or centrist, even non political bias is wrong.

          Understand now?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            No
            Because you deny the BBC is biased and your best defence is oto say ohers are too.
            But we were talking about the BBC.
            Got it now Jerry?

          • Jerry
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            @Edwward2; Oh right, so just as long as the BBC is not bias (to the left or centrist) any other broadcaster can be and no one should dare complain about it – glad we have that sorted…

            Weird logic you have Edward, most would call it sticking ones head in the sand.

            What is there not to understand about what I said, I mean really, “Any and all political bias is unacceptable, from any broadcast”? Good grief, one can’t get more ‘plain English’ than that!

          • Edward2
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            No Jerry again you make up something you think I believe and then criticise me for it.
            To say as you do that its OK for the BBC to lack balance in its news coverage because there are other TV channels that are similar is not a good argument.
            Still no list of UK TV companies that show a right wing bias I note.
            And why the personal comments again Jerry?

            Reply I am going to delete all future Jerry/Edward items of mutual abuse on this topic.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        There’s something seriously wrong with you. It’s almost a compulsion where you feel the need to comment regardless of whether or not you make any sense. Have your meds run out?

        You come out with garbage and try to sound as though you are making an educated point. Where in my post did I criticise the ‘mail-shots, web sites, social media, newsprint, magazines etc?’ My criticism was directed towards the BBC.

        How can we on the ‘out’ side ever hope to get our message across if we are hobbled right from the word go by a broadcaster who should be totally impartial?

        I don’t doubt that Channel 4 is biased, it certainly has a left-wing slant when it comes to news and current affairs. Yet I try not to miss programmes like Channel 4 News as I like to know what we on the ‘out’ side are up against. In their defence, Channel 4 News sometimes comes out with some good stuff too, but the difference is, I don’t have to pay a compulsory licence fee to watch Channel 4.

        I also subscribe to ‘mail-shots, web sites, social media, newsprint, magazines etc?’ from the ‘in’ campaign so I can keep abreast of things, and I can tell you categorically that the Brexit camp beats them hands down!

        If you doubt that, you clearly never read this blog properly. JR is possibly the foremost leading authority on EU matters as they affect the UK.

        I only ask that broadcasters are even-handed – especially when the public are forced to pay for it. That’s not an unreasonable position to take.

        Tad

        • Edward2
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          Well said Tad
          I totally agree with you.

        • Jerry
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          @Ted Davison; “[Personal abuse ignored]”

          “My criticism was directed towards the BBC.”

          Unfairly, and unwarranted. Unless you are going to fight all bias, in all broadcasters, all the media, you are part of the problem, not our saviour. Bias is a poison on all our houses, meaning that when push comes to shove the average person will opt for the status quo, what ever it is as it is what they physically know, see, hear, touch, perhaps even smell and taste, and can thus be judged. At best all you will achieve is a lot of hand sitting, that doesn’t win elections nor referenda.

          “I only ask that broadcasters are even-handed”

          Then I await your acid tongue in much criticism of not only Sky News but the rebroadcast of their sister station, the overtly biased Foxnews. When will you tackle the bias of RT, even though they seem to have a Brexit editorial line. What are you going to say about Blomberg or CNBC should they not say the things you wish to hear. As for your comments about Ch4 News and your “doubts” about there actually being bias, I suspect even Ch4 employees are laughing at your comment! But then perhaps you have not actually watched Ch4 News in many a year…

          You, like many it would seem on here, really do seem to want a (Brexit) biased media don’t you. Is the Breexit campaign so bloody weak that it can’t get the message across any other way. We are not even into the referendum period, not even had Cameron’s ‘deal’ sealed in wax by the EU, and I have already had a BSE flyer shoved through my letter box, why nothing from Brexit, were are the Brexit website or at least holding pages (suitable domains are probably being registered to the BSE camp by the bucket load…) [1], all whilst people like you bleat on about the BBC due to some long forgotten spat between a previously sycophantic BBC to the (then Tory) government of the 1950s, I guess TW3 has a lot to answer for…

          The Tories lost in 1964, because of left wing bias at the BBC so I keep being told by someone I know (he knows this as a fact because his brother used to work for the BBC, hmm). Yet within a year of so later, so the history books now tell us, Harold Wilson apparently believed the BBC was plotting against him and the Labour government – says it all really!

          Sorry Tad but it is clear to anyone with anopen mind that your beef is with the BBC and only the BBC, like so many who post on this website.

          [1] a quick Google on “Brexit website” returned basically 5 hits, with about another 10 very similar or repeated pages (and most are social media sites, useful for some but not all demographic groups, unlike proper websites.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            Please tell us of any right wing biased UK TV companies Jerry.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            Jerry,

            I could answer you line by line and make you look absolutely ridiculous – trust me – but I have no need to go to those lengths. All that is required, is for people to read what you wrote in reply to what I wrote, and it will soon be apparent that you have made a pretty good job of making yourself look a fool, and have saved me the trouble.

            Thank you, I can turn my attention to more important things and lobby influential people who really matter.

            Tad

          • Jerry
            Posted February 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            @Tad Davison; They are far more likely to read the personal abuse you posted towards me and make up their minds just what sort of person you actuality are, that is, those with an open, unbiased, undecided, mind will.

            It will the reactionary people like you Tad who will lose this Brexit vote for the nation, not win it – just as happened in 1975.

            As I said, with people having already started to get BSE flyers feed into their letter boxes, what are the Brexit camp doing, complaining about biased broadcasters, only the BBC mind, and arguing who might lead the group!

            I think I might start bushing up on my German, French and Spanish (not forgetting Polish and perhaps Romanian) language skills, such languages are likely to be needed even more by the end of 2017…

  32. RB
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The BBC are referring to the current NATO Naval operation in the Adriatic as “European Union vessels which are German led”.

  33. RB
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    The current “German led” EU/NATO naval operation will act as a magnet for refugees who will now be picked up by the German Navy and transferred to their work-force.

  34. RB
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    NATO is the EU Army, during the Kosovo war there was a psychological operation to scare Russia into believing that NATO was now the armed forces of an expanding German empire.

  35. Maureen Turner
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone read this without feeling a distinct shiver run down their spine.

    Seemingly the EU wants to supplement or rival NATO. I would guess it wants to supplant NATO. No thanks.

    “EU owned dual use capabilities. ……… best to be fulfilled by assets directly purchased, owned and operated by the Union.” – This means part of our defence budget has to meet the requirements of NATO and our EU taxes double up with a second tier of defence. This doesn’t make any sense unless you go down the path of the conspiracy theorists.

    Of all the points JR quotes and raises this in the one that concerns me most. “The EU began by pooling iron and steel manufacture, then the sinews of war. It has moved on to some defence procurement and to the creation of a defence and aerospace industry crossing frontiers TO MAKE MEMBER STATES INTERDEPENDENT ON THE PRODUCTION OF WEAPONRY.” Apologies for the caps. but if this last para. doesn’t tell you all you need to know about the EU nothing will.

    • M.A.N.
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      That hit me between the eyes like a hammer, is that why Redcar was run down?

  36. The PrangWizard
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Whist I agree, it will be very difficult for the UK to operate fully in any capacity with the Army at its present size. It is inevitable that we will be drawn towards reliance on others for help in even the smallest conflict or emergency which might affect us directly, unless we build up the numbers substantially.

    How do we defend the Falklands for example or any of our dependent territories; as you have said we are unlikely to get help from anyone in Europe, and God Forbid we should be forced into asking. The shame would be impossible to bear.

    And with our shrinking Navy how does it defend itself, let alone our shores; we would again be forced to ask for help. This idea of interdependency which can only lead to disaster is part of the EU plan which Cameron is happy to endorse, and is another pressing reason why we must LEAVE the EU.

  37. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    The Doctor’s Contracts
    Secret filming decades ago of British car workers on the nightshift being laid down fast asleep was put on TV with stills of the footage put on front pages of newspapers. Not sure if they did any work at all on their shifts.Fortunately lives were not put at risk.. They argued that they still completed the work expected of them and were “UNofficailly ” on-call. They were sacked. They were subject to court action.
    Junior doctors must not tempt me,- and acquaintances working in hospitals and other establishments to do some similar photo-investigation to discover how some junior doctors can WORK 90 hours per week and somehow have bright eyes to jump up and down chanting like kids on picket lines, give TV studio interviews and look fresh as morning daisies and buttercups.
    Not withstanding that, Mr Hunt MP, can after two or three years of the imposed Contract initiate such investigative journalism over the heads of superior ranks and the in-hospital telephone warning systems of approaching “Visitors”. Then have a word with Mr Corbyn and crew and ask them what they know. Asked by the Police.

    • Dr
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Do it Houston you worm. You wouldn’t last 10 mins as a junior doctor.

      You’ll be surprised at the intensity of an on-call shift these days. Trusts removed all on-call rooms years ago. Doctors manage as they usually work shifts, easier than the old days.

      Hunt has lied throughout this dispute, 7/20 of the senior NHS figures who are claimed to have backed the imposition now claim to have signed a different letter to that shown today.

      • The PrangWizard
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        These ‘Junior Doctors’ should be heartily ashamed of themselves, it’s all about me, me with them. I’m sick to the back teeth of listening to their bleating on about the hardships they claim the have to endure, and then they have the brass neck to say they are striking for the benefit of the patients.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if they have some cosy arrangements for themselves should they require urgent treatment ‘out of hours’ and how many ‘go private’?

        The BMA is as bad as the worst of the intransigent unions. It abuses it’s position and I am pleased Mr Hunt has imposed the contract, he needs to go much further but will Cameron support him.

      • Margaret
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        As a Nurse I have worked hundreds of hours and many more than the well paid young Drs of today. My usual routine was a 12 hour night of eleven on and then three off and then a change to days in those 3 off . My first wage was ten pounds a month , we weren’t allowed to marry and had to dedicate ourselves to the profession of tending to people’s medical needs . Doctors were a rarity therefore the medical responsibility was ours. Senior Drs can’t even get work. They have given their lives and can only get the odd hour.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Christopher H – Have you ever worked nights ?

      Have you any idea how ill it can make a person feel ?

      There is no harm (in fact a lot of good for health and productivity) in getting one’s head down during a break or quiet period.

      Whilst on this subject Katie Hopkins criticises junior doctors for wanting their pay enhanced at weekends. Most people who work weekends have their pay enhanced at these times.

      Reply Doctors will still get enhanced pay at week-ends for many of the hours. Most professionals including MPs do not get extra money for working week-ends.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply: Understood. My comment was in response to a widely held belief.

        If I engage a builder, taxi driver, plumber, electrician at a weekend they want extra for it. I’d dread to think what my solicitor would charge me if I’d asked him to work a Sunday for me. It would take a lot of money to drag him away from the golf course !

        Reply As an MP I regularly work some of the time on both Saturday and Sunday for no extra pay, and rightly so.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 12, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          Further. It’s still the case that to get impregnated by a father unknown is a better way of making a living than being a junior doctor.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply: I know you do a lot of extra hours. I expect your hourly rate is relatively little.

          I don’t think that’s right either.

          Reply An MP does not charge for extra hours!

          • Anonymous
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply: But MPs do get expenses, travel and lodging allowances. (I do not object to this)

            A kid working as a junior doctor will likely have well in excess of 50k in student debt and (we hear today) will have to pay 60k in rent before he can save a deposit to buy a house.

            This is rather different to the typical MP who is more mature, probably already well established in a profession and on the housing ladder (if not mortgage free.) There is more scope for working free.

            Sadly we are seeing British junior doctors vote with their feet and applying for jobs abroad where conditions are easier and pay is better. The Mail today asks them to pay back their training fees – well they are already, so I doubt that will stop just because they’ve taken their skills abroad.

            I’m sure most doctors (as with most people) work unpaid and unclaimed overtime.

            The country is in a bit of a fix.

            For decades we’ve operated on the basis that our workers aren’t up to it and must be ever more productive – and (now) retire later. (Conversely the welfare system has never been more generous.)

            Australia, New Zealand and Canada show that this doesn’t have to be true.

            Reply An MP like a Doctor gets no expenses for his main home, and young MPs face the same problem of dear house prices. All doctors and others in jobs requiring travel and staying away from Home get expenses for such travel and lodging.

          • Anonymous
            Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            PS, I was averaging your salary over the total of hours you put in. Not suggesting that you ever claim overtime.

        • Jerry
          Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          @JR reply; Like (Junior) Doctors, MPs are significantly under paid in my opinion, is it any wonder why so many (have in the past) felt the need to take on secondary work.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 12, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Christopher H

      The Daily Mail reports today that 200 doctors a week are quitting the NHS for an easier life down under.

      In fact a lot of workers are quitting the UK for an easier life down under.

      • Qubus
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        It boils down to the fact that the “junior” doctors are there for the convenience of the public; the public is not there for their convenience. You knew about the hours before you went to medical school.
        Get real. You are being led by the nose by a militant trade union that is masquerading as a learned society. What was it the Aneurin Bevan said when the NHS was introduced, “We shall have to stuff their mouths with gold”.

        • Jerry
          Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          @Qubus; “[Jn. Doctors] knew about the hours before [entering] medical school.”

          Is crystal ball gazing an entry requirement to medical schools!

          How could any Jn. Doctor know what a future contract would contain?…

    • Jerry
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      @CH; “Secret filming decades ago of British car workers on the nightshift being laid down fast asleep was put on TV with stills of the footage put on front pages of newspapers.”

      Clearly you have no idea how a production line works, for the above to happen the entire factory would have to be involved!

      Actually I seem to recall the ‘story’ you refer to was about London Underground track workers, what wasn’t made clear (on purpose?…) was that the required nights work had been carried out and finished, but because they could not actually leave the site (for operational reasons) people took to having a sleep (probably out of boredom).

      Oh and how many Directors in the past have a meeting, not to be disturbed, with on one but themselves on the couch in the office, or have a ‘working lunch’, not to mention entertain clients (to a round of golf) at their club?

      • Edward2
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again Jerry.
        The filmed exposure took place in two Midlands car factories where some staff were taking turns to go off for a rest.
        Some were sacked.
        Sleeping on the job is not acceptable.
        Do you just take a contrary point to everyones post to keep busy?

        • Jerry
          Posted February 14, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          @Edward; You really think that a night shift would be that over manned, and what if it was, surely that is a fault of the management.

          I bet you can’t even cite a date for this “secret” filming (that was later “shown on TV”), do you realise just how large suitable film cameras were “decades ago” when even home 8mm film/video cameras couldn’t be hidden easily, a little obvious someone being attached to a carry case all the time, walking about a working factory, if nothing else the person so doing would have been at risk of being suspected of pilfering, at least the incident I referred to were mere press photos…

          Like all urban myths, a little though and knowledge tends to deflate them somewhat.

          This sounds more like that classic 1950s 1st April Panorama spoof, that set a trend for TV channels to broadcast a spoof report each year, no doubt to be taken as ‘fact’ by at least some of the audience – remember the ‘driving dog’ shown on That’s Life back in the 1970s?! No I don’t suppose you do…

          • Edward2
            Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            It happened
            That’s all I can say
            I worked in the industry for decades.
            Jerry your speculation is so wrong it’s hilarious
            It was first published in the local paper and then in the other factory hidden cameras filmed workers asleep on the night shift.
            I don’t care if you don’t believe it.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You could also assert that a London Bus was found on the Moon, doesn’t make it a fact though, does it.

            Also still images do not actually prove anything unless it is so very obvious (such as the case with that LU ‘story’, that was lifted out of its true context anyway) [1], as they tend to be 1/500th of a second grabs of an otherwise moving life. I’m sure that one could frame-grab a set of stills from BBC-P’s coverage of the HoCs and then declare to a willing and expectant world that ‘MPs have been found asleep on the job’ simply because they happen to be leaning back or blinking in the grabbed frame – this is one of the reasons why Parliament set very strict rules as to how the media could use the video coverage of both houses.

            Photographs, even more so in this digital age, can and often do lie…

            [1] and even then who is not to say that it wasn’t a put up job, or joke that got out of hand

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Posts like this one of yours Jerry are quite simply ridiculous
            What on earth are you going on about.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            @Ted Mombiot; “What on earth are you going on about.”

            These days it’s called “Photoshopping” (after the software most often used by professionals these days), making a image appear to depict something that wasn’t actually the reality. Darkroom trickery has been around years though, hence those infamous photos showing Edwardian children playing in a garden with fairies [1], or the grabbing of one still image/frame out of many that happens to show someone is a ridiculous or suggestive pose (used by political hacks to this day).

            Still photographs/frame grabs prove nothing, and never have!

            [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted February 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Even more odd than your first post Jerry.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            @Ted Mombiot; Only because you don’t seem to be able to, or more likely wish to, follow the debate you have jumped into! What ever….

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Eurocorps has a website:

    http://www.eurocorps.org/

    where it is described as “A Force for the European Union and NATO”.

    Under “Contributions” there is some information about national units which have been earmarked:

    “The troop contribution nations are Eurocorps’ framework nations. The contribution of the framework nations will always depend on the specific needs of the mission. The units foreseen under Eurocorps command are earmarked but stay in their respective country. However they train together with HQ Eurocorps. After a transfer of authority they can be placed under operational command in case of an engagement. The maximum sum of these troops could eventually total up to 60.000 soldiers.”

    There’s a French-German Brigade, once described as the “spearhead”, permanently under Eurocorps command and garrisoned across France and Germany, plus earmarked units including an armoured brigade, a mechanised infantry brigade and support units from France, the 10th Armoured Division from Germany, a medium brigade from Belgium, a mechanized division from Spain and a 180 strong reconnaissance company from Luxembourg with logistics support; plus in the past a Polish mechanized brigade has taken part in exercises.

    Is this a European army? The British government keeps saying that it isn’t, but there is that famous boast from Romano Prodi:

    “If you don’t want to call it a European army, don’t call it a European army. You can call it ‘Margaret’, you can call it ‘Mary-Anne’, you can find any name.”

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    The ultimate aim of those driving the EEC/EC/EU project has always been and still is the legal subordination of the present sovereign nation states of Europe within a sovereign pan-European federation, right back to the Schuman Declaration of May 9th 1950:

    http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration/index_en.htm

    which stated:

    “The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe”

    “By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.”

    So it’s obvious that eurofederalists will want their federal United States of Europe to have its own federal armed forces, for the usual reasons that a state wants armed forces:

    1. To defend its territory;

    2. To project hard power around the world;

    3. To assist the civil power in suppressing any internal uprising.

    It could be argued that we should stay in the EU to stop other member states doing this, but the reality is that over four decades the UK government has been unable and/or unwilling to halt the gradual movement in that direction.

    There was no mention of defence in the 1957 Treaty of Rome setting up the EEC, that only came in with the Maastricht Treaty on European Union; if the UK government was really intent on preventing the movement to a military union then it would have done so then, by vetoing that part of the treaty.

  40. turboterrier
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Excellent explanation of the situation John.

    The formation of a EU army/defence force would if we were forced into participating would be the last slippery slope to ultimately losing out national identity. What is so sad if not frightening is that all the supporters of the stay brigade do not seem to understand what is happening before their very eyes.

    Further proof where their heads are.

  41. turboterrier
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Excellent explanation of the situation John.

    The formation of a EU army/defence force would if we were forced into participating would be the last slippery slope to ultimately losing out national identity. What is so sad if not frightening is that all the supporters of the stay brigade do not seem to understand what is happening before their very eyes.

    Where are they looking I ask myself

  42. Richard1
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off topic but a major point which I think needs addressing: today the CFO of ARM, one of the UK’s most successful growth companies has expressed nervousness of Brexit as it would mean – presumably – work permits being required for all EU workers who currently come freely. In Cambridge they have 300 such people, therefore he says, they may need to re-site R&D if the UK leaves the EU. Clearly a response would be that the same bureaucracy would apply to EU citizens as now applies to RoW citizens. But the general point is a good one – labour markets will, at the margin, become more restrictive as a result of Brexit. I think the Leave side needs to do something on this issue as it’s probably the main practical objection by Business to Brexit. One of the reasons for supporting the EC/EU in the past has been, despite its imperfection, it used to mean more free trade than would otherwise have been the case.

    Reply We will have a fair system to permit people with skills to come and work here, just as we do for non EU people at the moment.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Did he give any breakdown of the 300 people into different types of worker?

  43. DaveM
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Last post today.

    I’ve been involved with the EU RRF – on and off – for many years. May I just assure you that troops from this country and other European countries regard it as a joke. Why? Because the politicians who task it are the most risk averse, naive fools.

    Every country has a RRF for its own ends; without exception the EU RRF is covered by the national RRF because the CoSs know that the EU politicians have neither the will, the nous, nor the ability to deploy an expeditionary force.

    Can we just leave now please?

  44. Anonymous
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    How much longer do we have to wait until John Redwood or David Davis is PM? And what can we about it. This cannot go on much longer.

  45. Margaret
    Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Much waffle and convoluted tripe again I see from some bloggers. Get to the point and then we know you understand.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      I am not in favour of an EU armed force where our troops can be deployed and controlled by the EU.
      Is that OK for you Margaret.

      • Margaret
        Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Dear Edward , this wasn’t directed at you .

        • Edward2
          Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          I did assume that.
          But thanks anyway!

          • Margaret
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            I did assume that you assumed that , which is why the tone changed .

          • Edward2
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Well that’s us both happy then!

  46. Edward.
    Posted February 12, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Barroso, was fond of calling it – the EU – “The Empire”.

    It should be remembered and marked that, the holy Roman Empire’s legions were mainly used to quell rebellion in areas and regions under the sway of Rome.

    The Brussels colleagues, along with their preposterous sense of grandiloquent vision knows of and recognizes no boundaries, their will be done.

    The EU army is being ordered as we debate on this thread.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    When I google for “the UK cannot afford to lose out on this pot of money” I find a Guardian article from last May, written by “Matthew Freeman Cell biologist and head of the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford”. There are comments pointing out the obvious, that this was our money in the first place, but I don’t suppose that would make much difference to his thinking(?) because he and his colleagues in “Scientists for EU” are first and foremost “for EU” and it is almost incidental that they are “scientists”. That’s clear enough just from looking at its Facebook site, where the latest items are lists of other pro-EU groups.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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