Sir Michael Fallon is too late to veto the European army

I found Sir Michael’s statement that he will continue to veto a European army all the time the UK remains in the EU perplexing. Now we are leaving I do not see it is any business of ours to veto what they are going to do when we leave. It just annoys the very countries we wish to be friends with as we depart.
I do wish we would just get on and leave and stop paying our contributions. If we rightly do not go to conferences like Bratislava why do we help pay the bills?
Nor do I understand how Sir Michael can veto something that already exists and the UK has accepted. The EU has established eighteen battle groups, each at battalion strength, with a rota so that any two of them can be deployed at any time by the European Council. As the EU’s own website sets out “The battlegroup concept provides the EU with a specific tool in the range of rapid response capabilities.”
The UK has played its part on the multinational rota to provide forces. None are currently deployed but they could be.
There is also already a Eurocorps, mainly French and German, stationed in Strasbourg with 1000 soldiers.
In parallel the EU does have naval forces in theatre today. Again the UK is signed up to this. Two of the 7 ships on Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean are UK vessels according to the EU website. There is a also a 4-6 vessel force off Somalia in Operation Atalanta which receives UK assistance.
Just as many of us pointed out in the referendum campaign, there is a European military capability and they do wish to grow a bigger and more active army. Some Remain spokesmen told us this was all nonsense. The conversation at Bratislava reminds us that there are already EU forces and they do wish to strengthen them and make them more active.
The UK should leave well alone and ask itself whether it wishes to carry on contributing after it has left. 4 non EU countries are involved in these forces at the moment. Perhaps our defence Secretary could give us some guidance on this more interesting issue, which will be his call along with the PM.

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103 Comments

  1. DaveM
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I also found that comment strange. To me, it sounded like a committed remainer making noises to demonstrate that the UK can influence EU policy whilst in the EU. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear other comments – or even acts – which make it look as if the UK can influence other unpopular EU policies (such as immigration, VAT on certain items, etc). Then a lot of shouting about it when we mysteriously get our way.

    What is she waiting for? What difference does a couple of months make? As you rightly point out, every week that goes by is another few hundred million pounds sent to Brussels.

    How long would Scotland have hung around if Yes had won a couple of years ago? Less than 24 hours I’d suggest.

    • zorro
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I suspect that Mrs May will end being the Tory Gordon Brown in power….. Too much of a ditherer….. If we are to believe her current rationale that she likes to look at things thoroughly befoe making a decision, one has to ask why she supported Remain but still thinks that she can be convincing in taking the UK out of the EU. I don’t think that she has a clue or a view. Her ‘Gordon Brown Lisbon signing moment’ for me was when she stated that she would campaign to Remain in the EU but supported us opting out of ECHR….. A rather bizarre construct if I have seen one!

      zorro

      • Hope
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        She does not intend to leave in the way many people think. She is trying for EU light, per the five presidents report. She is hoping the continued action will change people’s mind. She could invoke article 50 tomorrow and not do any negotiation until late next year, who says we have to comply with an EU time table other than to complete within two years.

        Fallon is part of the mood music to keep us in the EU because we excerpt influence in the EU- not. He should have never have kept his job.

        Morgan still agitating because she is bitter about being sacked. Does she really think she was any good? Harping on about grammar schools when taking her child for visits at private schools!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Well, as discussed there are court cases pending which would prevent her from putting in the notice even if she wanted to do so.

          However I agree there are (deliberate) misrepresentations about the most likely timing for the negotiations if she did put it in now.

          It is in various people’s interests to spread the questionable belief that doing so would “set the clock ticking” to a rigid “deadline”, and this would put us at a huge disadvantage during negotiations with an implacable Commission operating under EU law, etc etc.

          Reply She could put in a letter and hold an endorsing Parliamentary vote at the same time if she wished.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Not only did she support remain she lied to the voters in the referendum that they had control of the borders through Schengen. Rather in the immoral George Osborne say anything at all to try to win the referendum mode.

        She was also, for many years, the Home Secretary who did nothing much to control (even non EU) immigration, this while pretending to be bringing overall immigration down to the tens of thousands.

        She has flunked the Hinkley decision and seem to think the public voted for “some” control over immigration.

        She cannot do much about her sensible grammar school agenda either due to all the Libdims in her party, but he last thing we want is more religious indoctrination or young minds in school.

        Unless she stop dithering, cancels HS2 and gets on with Brexit and the new runways very soon I will give up on her.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but it is just silly political posturing by this rather foolish man. A bit like Junker promising free public wifi in public places all over the EU when he has rather more important thing on his plate. Were we not assured the EU defence force was simply not true, during the referendum lies from remain?

    Interesting to read C Booker today that the US National Snow and Ice Data Center shows there is now 22% more arctic ice than there was at this time in 2012.

    So what exactly is the point of contracting to buy Hinkley C power, for countless years to come, at 2.5 time the going rates & for rather less controllable power than gas? Technology is likely to make power cheaper in real terms over the 10 years build, not more expensive too.

    Booker also suggests how to curb EU immigration, yet stay in the single market. It this perhaps May’s real agenda?

    Excellent pieces by Simon Heffer today ending with “Osborne follow Cameron and go”:- He should think of the stain on his reputation for the monstrous lies he told during project fear.

    Indeed and from his totally incompetent period as chancellor making a total mess of the tax and monetary systems. Yet more allegations today too about large sums of money, intended for war veterans, disappearing via some “charities” under his term of office too.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/scandal-of-war-vets-vanished-charity-funds-mjxnd79pw

    About the only thing Osborne did that was sound was to promise £1M IHT tax thresholds – needless to say (in a show of total contempt for the electorate he just regards as milch cows) he ratted on it. Still it kept Gordon Brown out.

    When is May going to do something right start by scrapping HS2 and getting on with the new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick. She has already got the Hinkley C decision wrong, despite it being so very clear cut.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      It seems Theresa may ban EU migrants without a job. But that is far from sufficient, they need to have a well paid job, low paid jobs are a net liability to government. Especially if they come needing housing, schools, roads, medical care, policing, social services, elderly relative care …. and all the rest. Paying perhaps £5K in tax and NI PA does not go very far at all at all.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/05/theresa-may-considers-banning-eu-migrants-from-coming-to-britain/?WT.mc_id=e_DM157409&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FAM_New_AEM_Recipient&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_AEM_Recipient_2016_09_06&utm_campaign=DM157409

      • f
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Lifelogic. When we went to Spain we had to fund ourselves. We bought our own property, and didn’t rely on the state to provide for us in any way. We would have got nowhere with the Spanish system anyway even if we had wanted to.

        Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand all demand that you have a job and can buy or rent your own property before they let you in and that is only if you are young enough. We’re not so we would have to have a lot of financial clout behind us before they would let us in and even then they would demand we had a clean bill of health and maybe relatives who could vouch for us over there already. What is the Uk thinking of when they let anyone in who if they get a low paid job will be claiming off the state. I really don’t want to fund someone else’s lifestyle if they haven’t paid anything in to the system.

      • hefner
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        According to http://www.gov.uk Distribution of median and mean income and tax by age range and gender, for 2014
        Median. Mean
        Total population. 21900. 31300
        Men. 24300. 35900
        Women. 19000. 25100
        With a personal allowance of 10000, and 20% tax rate, Mr Lifelogic with his £5k tax simply discards more than half of the population in his “analysis”.
        ……………..

        Can anybody take him seriously?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      “Booker also suggests how to curb EU immigration, yet stay in the single market.”

      The idea is that “we could legally exercise at least some control over migration from the EU”, which is not good enough even if other EU governments agreed to it.

      We need to regain total control over our immigration policy, not “some control”, or “some limited control” as it was put last week.

      • rose
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        And Christopher Booker still seeems to think EU immigration is just European when in practice anyone with an EU passport can come and live here with full access to the Welfare State. That runs into the billions.

      • Chris
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Sadly I think Booker and North have left reality, and are not realising that real people are involved in all of these scenarios. They seem to be advocating policies based on ideal economics, but they are not politicians, and seem to regard “the people” as of no significance and seem to disregard/are contemptuous of what the people hold dear andthey seem to dismiss the propensity of ordinary people not to “obey” the laws of economics or whatever. They basically seem to ignore the human dimension to the arguments, and that is why, I feel, they completely misjudge and “misanalyse” the situation.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/09/11/doing-well-at-things/#comment-832053

          “I’m reminded of the final parts of the film “Bridge over the River Kwai”, when the British colonel takes such a pride in the way his troops have built the bridge that he forgets himself and alerts the Japanese to the attempt to blow it up.

          If I’d spent years researching and drawn up a detailed, 406 page, multi-stage plan for our smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU then I would not be happy when it was ignored and people refused to contemplate even the first stage … “

  3. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Ages ago, Yorkshire BBC referred to the returned Yorkshire soldiers from Germany stationed at Catterick as being “…now part of the new EU Army..”

    Sir Michael is possibly completely unaware of their existence. Armies disappear “Up North”. The current tale is that the Roman Ninth Legion of 6000 men disappeared in Scotland around AD117. But half a century ago I was told on a hike across the North Yorkshire moors near Catterick that a Roman Legion vanished in the Yorkshire moorland mist as they marched from what is now called Rievaulx to Whitby. They were thought to have been massacred but archaeologists have not found any weaponry on the moors. No, they would be on the back of a handcart and traded for fishing boats in what is now Robin Hood’s Bay for sure.
    So now Sir Michael knows where to start looking for his missing army. They may be disguised as unemployed trawler owners and curiously know more Latin than they should for non-grammar school types.

  4. DaveM
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Even the BBC World News has devoted a whole hour-long programme this morning (ably chaired by Andrew Neil) to asking why the UK has still not officially left, and focusing specifically on how the EU club is planning to forge ahead with the points you make in your article today. Fallon can make all the noises he likes – the UK isn’t even at the conference!!

    The electorate is expecting us to leave. The BBC is waiting for us to leave. The EU wants us to leave so they can get on. Millions of people in this country are waiting to leave so they can get on with the future. Just one person is holding all this up – for whatever reason – and diverting attention by raising contentious issues like grammar schools and Hinkley Point. Has the nature of your party leadership become so dictatorial that members now have to form pressure groups to try to make the PM enact the will of the electorate and the wishes of a huge number of your party membership?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed clearly wrong on Hinkley, Grammar schools right but really just a distraction that she cannot really deliver. Why does she not just get on with Brexits, runways, cancelling HS2, cutting taxes, sorting out monetary policy, keeping the IHT £1M promise cutting stamp duty and income & CGT tax.

      • acorn
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, I have been reading economic nonsense on this site for some while now; but, you are the Gold Medal winner by far.

        At present, the latest Finance Act is looking at the government spend being circa £694 billion revenue plus £36 billion capital, allowing for depreciation.

        Please could you tell us exactly where and how much you intend to cut from that budget. Mr Osborne was planning to get circa £665 billion in taxes and another £51 billion in odds and sods.

        I would be fascinated to know, just how much you are intending to cut and what budget deficit you expect to have; and, its impact on the nations GDP.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Lower but simpler taxes render business more competitive, kills the many parasitic/non jobs and, in the end, produces more revenue not less.

          If you look at the state sector it is 50% over remunerated and about 50% of it does nothing on any use anyway. Release them to get a real job. The payments to augment the feckless need to stop too.

          The state in the UK tries to do far too much and does it all very badly and very inefficiently indeed. Cut university places by half as so many are pointless too. The NHS is a joke. Give vouchers for schools encourage private medical arrangements, cut the train subsidies and all the green crap……..

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Lower house prices (lower wages) render businesses more competitive, and enable a sustainable standard of living too.

          • Sir Joe Soap
            Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            Trouble is it’s still creeping the other way. More money taken in taxes, going into the state black hole, wasted on pointless schemes. Carney printing yet more money which is chucked at banks as middle-men at next to zero interest, lending to asset buyers on a one way bet. People saving and receiving zero interest are starting to twig though, and as with Europe eventually the truth will seep through, and people will demand an end to this funny money half-baked solution.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:20 am | Permalink

            Cut HS2 cancel Hinkley C, £billions can be saved all over the place. There is huge waste almost everywhere you look in the state sector.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I don’t know what Gina Miller thinks about grammar schools.

      http://citywire.co.uk/money/gina-miller-the-investment-boss-behind-brexit-challenge/a934276

      “Gina Miller: the funds boss behind ‘Brexit’ challenge”

      “Gina Miller, founder of investment management group SCM Private, is leading the legal challenge to the process of the UK’s exit from the European Union, which had its first hearing in the courts this morning.”

      • acorn
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Denis, I don’t know if this Act actually took Treaties out of the Royal Prerogative or not. If it didn’t, then parliament has no say in the matter. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2009-10 constitutionalreformandgovernance.html

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          That’s the “CRAG” legislation which David Davis mentioned during his recent appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee, which in its Part 2 put the old Ponsonby Rule on a statutory basis and which will certainly apply when new treaty arrangements with the EU have been agreed and are ready for ratification.

          However it is clear from Section 25(2) that it will not apply to the service of the Article 50 notice.

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/25/pdfs/ukpga_20100025_en.pdf

          “25 Meaning of “treaty” and “ratification”

          (1) In this Part “treaty” means a written agreement –

          (a) between States or between States and international organisations, and

          (b) binding under international law.

          (2) But “treaty” does not include a regulation, rule, measure, decision or similar instrument made under a treaty (other than one that amends or replaces the treaty (in whole or in part)).

          (3) In this Part a reference to ratification of a treaty is a reference to an act of a kind specified in subsection (4) which establishes as a matter of international law the United Kingdom’s consent to be bound by the treaty.

          (4) The acts are –

          (a) deposit or delivery of an instrument of ratification, accession, approval or acceptance;

          (b) deposit or delivery of a notification of completion of domestic
          procedures.”

          The notice that we intend to leave the EU will not itself be a treaty, it will be a “decision or similar instrument made under a treaty”, and it will not be “one that amends or replaces the treaty”, it will be a notice that we intend to proceed in that direction.

    • Graham
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Well said – and meanwhile uncertainty grows.

      Perhaps our politicians would be better served by devoting their attention to matters here in the UK – realising as I say that they undoubtedly foul up everything they give the benefit of their ‘wisdom’ to.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Not being at EU meetings, irrespective of whether or not it may apply to us, and renouncing our Presidency of the rotating Council of the EU, is in my view a grave political and diplomatic mistake. Only once Art.50 is declared and meeting strictly relating to that, should the UK be excluded from ANY meetings. We are still a full and paying member of the EU and we should be treated as such. We should, in my opinion, go to ALL meetings, but withhold our view publically.

      • rose
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Our PM gave up the chairmanship of the Council without getting anything in return. So much for her using 3 million human beings as bargaining chips. Presumably she knew she wasn’t up to it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Indeed you use every lever you have.

  5. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Your headline is correct. A de facto EU army has been underway for some years, as you have preiously stated on this site. It’s a shame that so many people (including some senior politicians) tried to deny this throughout the Referendum campaign and many are still trying to deny it. Thank you for highlighting this again.

    May we add to the facts you cite? On 20th June the European Defence Agency (EDA) published its 2015 accounts. It shows the UK spent £1.4 billion on “EU collaborative defence equipment” with the EDA.
    [Source paper is at http://facts4eu.org/news_june_15-22.shtml#eu_army_4 ]

    In a different piece we provided quotes from EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger on 14th June which demonstrated clear EU thinking. The interview with Politico’s Editor was in German, which is why it never made the UK news.
    [Source info: http://facts4eu.org/news_june_15-22.shtml#eu_army_2 ]

    Finally, the EU has already created: the European External Action Service, the EU Institute for Security Studies, the European Defence Agency, the EU Military Committee, the EU Military Staff, the Eurocorps, and the EU Battle Groups. The German 1st Panzer Division has taken over the Dutch 43rd Mechanised Brigade. The German Rapid Forces Division has taken over the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade. The Dutch have also agreed to combine naval forces with Germany.
    [If any Remainer readers doubt any of this, the sources are here:
    http://facts4eu.org/news_june_1-14.shtml#51 ]

    • acorn
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      According to WIKI the “Military of the European Union”, comprises:- 546 ships, 2,448 aircraft, 7,490 battle tanks, 1,423,097 (2014) active personnel. Spending €194.7 billion (1.42% of EU GDP in 2014)

      IMO: The United States is increasingly becoming the biggest threat to world peace. It spends more on wiz-bangs than the rest of the world put together. There is no new technological inovation, that it does not try to weaponise first. It has a federal government, with prospective leaders that are verging on playing out for real, Kubrick’s bleak Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove.

      Try this for size. The EU military objective is to get the US military out of Europe, to reduce the chances of the cold war becoming a hot war. This to be achieved by forming a single replacement for NATO in Europe on our side of the Ural Mountains. This requiring a treaty of some kind with Russia.

      Eventually there will be a Eurasia Defence Treaty Organisation (EDTO), covering Lisbon to Vladivostok. NATO will be reduced to the USA; UK and Canada. EDTO will spend its time encouraging the US military to go home and stay there.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Acorn,I fully agree.Russia has been proposing a Eurasia mutual defence system since the days of Gorbachev.Lavrov in a paper earlier this year said Russia would not permit Europe to unite without or against her,given what happened when previous attempts were made to unite the west.

        We will all be a lot safer when it eventually happens,as I believe in the fullness of time it will,barring WWIII,leaving the US and China to battle it out for dominance in the rest of the world.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Mmmm, wasn’t that what Nigel Farage was telling us?

      • Bob
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        @fedupsoutherner

        “Mmmm, wasn’t that what Nigel Farage was telling us?”

        and Nick Clegg denied it live on TV.

  6. bluedog
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Well said, Dr JR. It can only complicates our exit negotiations if the Defence minister reverses our previous tacit acceptance of the Eurocorps. Mrs May would be well advised to bring Fallon into line.

    Given the extensive alliance with the French negotiated during the rule of Cameron, one wonders exactly how this can play out given that France is also a member of NATO as well as the Eurocorps venture. How many conflicts of interest can the French manage before they become completely confused and ineffective?

    • BOF
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Did the French ever know which side they were on? Remember this quote?

      G. Patton: “I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me.”

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      M Hollande’s comments at the recent NATO summit were interesting-he was extremely critical of NATO’s provocations towards Russia,whom he saw as a “partner” and not “a threat or an adversary”.

      Apart from the US angle,perhaps France ,feeling itself declining in influence vis-a-vis Germany,is doing what it did in similar circumstances a hundred or so years ago,ie looking for an entente with Russia.

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Look, despite all those demonstrable facts there are still no plans for an EU army, that is just another of the many lies told by the Leave campaign which can be held to invalidate the result of the referendum. So I hear repeatedly on the TV, and not just on the BBC.

    I’m sure you understand that ministers must stay within the law like the rest of us, and it would be wrong for Theresa May to pre-empt the decision of the Supreme Court, and then possibly the EU’s Court of Justice, on whether she has the legal power to serve an Article 50 notice that the UK intends to leave the EU without further authorisation from the present lazy and inattentive occupants of Parliament, including the lazy and inattentive unelected legislators-for-life in the House of Lords.

    So that will be late December, unless the cases are referred on to the EU’s federal judges in Luxembourg for them to pronounce upon our national constitution, when it could well be never. It’s strange that I rarely see this aspect mentioned in the media.

    Reply We could just have a vote and send the letter! Lets get on with it. It is costing us £200m a week net!

    • eeyore
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Our host’s patience and urbanity are being tested, it seems; perhaps he or another MP could ask Mrs May, in the full spotlight of PMQs, to take the House into her confidence about the Government’s reasons for delaying A50. If Denis Cooper is right and legal considerations dictate the timetable, there’s really no reason why the country should not be told.

      The £200m a week is a powerful argument. It may be small change to HMG but to the rest of us it sounds quite useful.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        It’s circular. At the preliminary hearing the government’s counsel told the court that there was really no rush, the government did not intend to serve the notice before the end of the year. So the full hearing and the appeal to the Supreme Court have been scheduled on that leisurely basis. It would be difficult for the government to go back and tell the court that it now wants the proceedings to be speeded up.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/brexit-no-plans-trigger-article-50-this-year-uk-high-court-told-legal-challenge-1571483

          “Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that she does not intend to trigger Article 50 this year, the High Court was told in a directions hearing on Tuesday 19 July.”

          “Coppel told the court: “Notification [triggering] Article 50 will not occur before the end of 2016.” Should anything change, the court would be given advance notice, he assured. He however did concede that there was nonetheless “some urgency” to the issue. Government lawyers also conceded that the case was likely to be appealed right up to the Supreme Court.”

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            It’s not the money I’m so concerned about so much as the continuance of mass immigration and EU laws.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Maybe you should start drawing up that list of hundreds of people to be elevated as new life peers, I suppose they would be “working peers”, who could be relied upon to outvote the present bunch of europhiles. I think it would be beyond any dispute that their promotion to the archaic position of unelected legislator-for-life could be done by Royal Prerogative, as it has always been done since time immemorial, but the Prime Minister would need to have the names to present to the Queen.

      The point is that the plaintiffs in these legal cases say that there should be an Act of Parliament before the government serves the Article 50 notice.

      If the government said, “OK, we’ll ask MPs to approve a resolution that we should put in the Article 50 notice”, then probably that would go through but the bad losers would almost certainly react by asking for an emergency injunction to stop the government acting upon it until the courts had decided whether that was sufficient parliamentary authorisation.

      If the government said, “OK, we’ll ask for the resolution to be approved by both Houses”, then that would probably not get through the Lords but if it did the bad losers would almost certainly react in the same way, by seeking an injunction to stop the government serving the notice without a full Act.

      Once the government was into accepting the need for an Act before it could serve the Article 50 notice then it would need to flood the Lords with new life peers to crush the enemies of the people who make up the large majority in that chamber and make sure that the Act would pass first time without the additional thirteen month delay entailed in using the Parliament Acts.

      One Lord, actually a Labour Lord, made a useful contribution on July 7th:

      https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2016-07-07/debates/16070739000388/BrexitCaseForASecondReferendum

      Lord Grocott, at Column 2166:

      “I sat through the whole Committee stage of the referendum Bill. The referendum was supported by the Conservative Front Bench, by the Liberal Democrat Front Bench, by my Front Bench, by the Green Party, by the Scottish National Party and by the Welsh national party – all parties supported the referendum. I never heard anyone say, “This is only the first of two referendums”; I never heard anyone say, “Oh, this is just an advisory referendum. You don’t have to take much notice of it. It’s useful advice, but let’s leave it at that”. The unanimous view of this House – no one voted against – was that the public should decide in a referendum.

      I simply say to this House, of which I am very fond, that this is essentially an advisory House; the public are not an advisory public. The public have made their decision. I say to my friends in this House – I would say it to my friends at the other end, among whom I see no appetite whatever for another referendum – that it really is not our job to thwart the will of the British people.”

      Many others in the House disagree with that.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      If Mrs May really is held back by the courts, why does she not just say? It would clear everyone’s mind and stop talk of her stalling. As far as I know she is not, even now saying when she will do it and in fact denied she had said any such thing as January or February to Juncker, leading to further speculation that even more delay is in the offing. Someone (no doubt in the Remain camp, can’t remember who), said last week on radio that she may wait until after the German election next Autumn!

      Before we know it there will be a GE round the corner and after that they will say the mandate has expired. Seems like she is waiting for a Remain head of steam to build up.

      I think we are really quite justified in our view that her heart is not in it and she will find some way of thwarting it if possible. The answer to this is simple,’ just say when’ instead of playing games much beloved of politicians bu detested by the voters who are kept out of the loop.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        https://www.monckton.com/art-50-brexit-case-hearing-set-october-possible-leapfrog-supreme-court/

        “Art 50 BREXIT case – hearing set for October with possible leapfrog to the Supreme Court”

        “The case will be heard over two days from mid-October 2016 by a Divisional Court including the Lord Chief Justice. Given the constitutional importance of the case the Court is also making arrangements for a “leapfrog” appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court in December 2016 ahead of the Government’s projected timetable for triggering Article 50 TEU at the start of 2017.”

        • graham1946
          Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Thanks. Denis.

          Even more reason to say she is hamstrung by the courts and she could still say she will do it as soon as it is cleared up (assuming the courts don’t actually rule against the referendum, which I would not like to bet on, considering the perverse interpretations we get from some of the ‘learned gentlemen’. This could go on for years.

          How can some rich person or set of such hold up the nation’s declared will? Surely that is not constitutional? I’d like to see, if they lose, costs awarded amounting to the loss of the money we give to the EU caused by the delay. At 200 million a week that would make a few posh eyes bulge.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Dear Graham–Had the Conservatives not been using their wonderful modern system for deciding on a new Leader but instead the smoke filled room without the smoke the consensus would, without the slightest doubt, rapidly correctly and ever so sensibly have produced a Leaver and we wouldn’t have the nagging doubt we have now. The business with Gove is on any basis almost impossible to believe and wouldn’t have happened in days gone by.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Can you clarify John?? Is Mrs May being held up by the courts? Is there a court case outstanding to be heard? I really would like to know as the media and papers don’t tell us anything about it.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      It could cost us a lot more if we get it wrong.

  8. Nig l
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Michael Fallon dissembling shurely shome mishtake as they would say in the Private Eye. An interesting article in the Telegraph this morning about a Tory revolt over what they feel is too soft a line being taken by Mrs May. I wonder whether Fallon’s statement was a piece of spin for the wider uninformed public to try and demonstrate how tough on the EC they are.

    That Brexit supporters are getting more suspicious of Mrs Mays line should be no surprise to readers if your blog who were almost from day one.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      I think Mrs May is a sit on her hands type like Merkel. She rightly has a reputation as a ditherer. A do nothing because she knows nothing and so lets the world carry on around her in the hope problems will either go away or solve themselves. Fortunately for her most of them do exactly that. It is the ones that do not that have to be addressed and that is when ability matters. Brexit has them in quantity is she up to it?

      At the Home Office she achieved nothing of note and was only lucky no crisis occurred to highlight her incompetence as so often happened to her predecessors. I believe she is aware of her own limitations and expends her energy not on her job but hiding those limitation from public scrutiny. Brexit may be her undoing and she may be feeling very uncomfortable with that fact . Will she leave office as ignominiously as David Cameron because of failure or will she prove to be the right person at the right time that the UK needs in this period of momentous change. I hope it is the latter for all our sake.

      • rose
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        On the front page of our local paper today it says 385 local girls have been recorded as having been mutilated between April 2015 and March 2016. The figure for Birmingham in the same period is 435. This disgusting practice was outlawed by Mrs Thatcher in 1985, yet there has not beeen a single prosecution.

        100,000 schoolgirls are estimated to have been abducted, raped, and tortured over the last 30 years or so by the “grooming gangs” of many towns and cities. There have been some prosecutions but not nearly enough and the whole subject has been hushed up as “sensitive”.

        You say no crisis occurred but I should have said that out of control mass immigration and the wholesale abuse of girls are both national emergencies. On this latter question you would think a token woman who promotes token women would at least show some concern and consult the French on how they managed to deal with the FGM. But oh no, this “feminist” politician was much more concerned with homosexual marriage and stop and search, both questions of importance to the liberal media she wanted to curry favour with.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    http://www.eureferendum.com/Default.aspx

    “Brexit: Delusions on immigration”

    I submitted a lengthy comment on this yesterday evening on the last thread, which has not yet been published, and I would just like to say that this is how I would see it if I was the government of Poland, or indeed of any of the eastern European countries with large numbers of its citizens settled in other, wealthier, EU member states:

    I insist that all my citizens must continue to have the automatic right to migrate to the UK if they so wish. That may seem rather impudent on my part, but UK politicians agreed to it when my country joined the EU and I want them to keep that right.

    I note from the UK newspapers, and especially the Sunday Telegraph, that after a partial change of mind imposed upon UK politicians by the referendum a cunning plan is now being mooted. That is for the UK to leave the EU but stay in the EEA, and then once free from the constraints of the EU treaties use a provision of the EEA Agreement, namely Article 112, to restrict the right of my citizens to settle in the UK.

    That right was freely granted to all Polish citizens in perpetuity and on their behalf I insist that they must all retain that right, and I am not prepared to see that being circumvented by any clever legal device.

    Therefore I refuse to consent to the UK remaining a member of the EEA after it has left the EU, unless I have a legal guarantee that the UK will not subsequently abuse that provision in the EEA Agreement to restrict the immigration of Polish citizens into the UK.

    • Jan Tegnér
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      The EEA agreement is limited to the member states of the European Union and member states of the EFTA. Even though UK was one of the founders of EFTA, there is no guarantee that they will be allowed to rejoin. It is hardly in the interest of the small EFTA countries, to bring in an elephant in the glass shop.

      Free movement of goods ands services are the essence of the EEA agreement and it’s really naive to even think that there is a way to both eat the cake and keep it. I hope Scotland and Northern Ireland decides to stay in the European Union and wish England luck as a thirld world country…

  10. formula57
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    As we know, because Lenin told us, in its final stages capitalism will turn mad and we should be concerned that the same may well be true of the EU. Accordingly, the UK must fully disengage itself from military commitments associated with the EU before the full onset of madness (nascent in the case of Ukraine) sees us once again pulling chesnuts out of the fire for our continental friends. Any British government that sees our military personnel put in harms way to support the enthusiasms of the EU risks being reviled by the people. There can, surely, be no question of our carrying on contributing after we have left the EU.

  11. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    We’ve heard a lot about how the UK cannot defend itself against an act of war and also much about old people stuck in hospital using beds that are desperately needed because there are no homes for them to go to and yet we still send billions abroad in the form of foreign aid. We are also still sending millions to the EU all the time that Mrs May is just sitting on it. Perhaps her talks with the Queen at Balmoral over this weekend might just speed things up a bit? Many Brexiteers are becoming despondent and wonder if we really will leave or if we will be squashed again by the establishment. Do public votes and public opinion count for anything any more?

  12. turboterrier
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Mother Theresa is doing us on this blog, the country and even herself no favours by creating this perceived caution and allowing the LibDims for example to get wide coverage in the media about another referendum and all the other doom and gloom scenario presented to the public on a daily basis.

    She is coming across as the reluctant leaver, walking on the upturned hull thinking that something is going to happen to prevent her having to leap for safety. With all the different reports coming out of Europe shouldn’t the alarm bells start ringing as it seems to be slowly but surely coming apart at the seams? Forthcoming elections could change the whole formation and direction of the bloc dramatically.

    Push has gone to shove and she has got to start making things happen not playing with all these side issues being used to divert the country’s attention.

    She has to be seen and believed to be actually dedicated to getting us out and show strength in stopping the payments, as it is she is just pi****g off both the UK electorate and the EU leaders.

  13. Antisthenes
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Without assistance no European country is probably capable of defending itself against the likes of Russia or contributing to policing major conflict hot spots around the world. Peace is often only kept by the threat that if broken retaliation would be credible and substantial. A case is therefore made that military alliances have to be made. NATO is one such that has proven it’s worth many times. No longer can Europe rely on NATO as the main stay the USA can no longer be counted on turning up when needed. NATO allowed it’s members to participate at a level that it’s members believed appropriate so some contributed more than others not always equitably as some do not contribute to the maximum of their capacity.

    The concept of an EU military has merit for it’s members at least because it allows the creation of armed forces that is paid for by a common fund and is directed by a single command structure. A Marlborough is needed and not many of them are available to coordinate disparate military forces successfully so a single command structure is the best option.

    This is one of the few areas that membership of the EU could be of advantage to the UK. Unfortunately because UK membership of the EU brings with it so many other disadvantages taking advantage of the greater security a combined military force would bring is not possible.

    A single market and increased and increasing cooperation between European states was and is a goal worth preserving but not under the conditions that the EU wish to impose. Loss of sovereignty, political and monetary union is not a price worth paying especially as those goals can be achieved without it. All the EU has to do is drop those conditions, change it’s name to the European Community Organisation and jettison it’s role as a government and become a facilitator to achieve those goals. In that way the prosperity and security objectives of the EU can be realised but in a way that is fair and democratic.

  14. Gary
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    This insane, immoral system of money from thin air, where the interest payable on one loan either comes from the principle in another loan or from sufficient velocity of existing money, and this requires constantly increasing debt and/or consumption to prevent economic implosion. At the inevitable point of slowdown when debt saturation is reached, chaos ensues and that is when the military is ordered into the breach. Instead of dismantling this dishonest system of usury, the perpetrators will attempt the plunder of foreign equity to feed the debt beast and to put jackboots onto our windpipes in a final and vain attempt to maintain their theft. History will remember the body politic and the media as being complicit, and appropriate justice will ensue.

    It all ends just like in France 1790.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Newmaniac says there are no plans for an EU army.

    He’s right on everything, you know.

  16. English Pensioner
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Surely as long as we remain in the EU and are currently paying our ‘subscription’, we have as much right to have a view on the matter as any other country. For the same reason, I can’t see why we weren’t able to attend the recent meeting of EU heads; we are still a member and surely they have no right to exclude us from any meetings. Once the formal letter has been sent, there is a two year period for discussions, only then should they be holding such meetings.
    But I don’t believe the letter will ever be sent; there will be excuse after excuse for inaction.

  17. Shieldsman
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Why is it we have so many members of Cabinet so ill informed on EU affairs. Is it because of lack of interest, not sufficient time or failure of their advisors?

    The plans for a combined Military Headquarters have all been revealed by the European Parliament. Its all there for the reading.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Shieldsman. Or is it just plain ignorance of the facts and it makes it easier not to implement Article 50 so we stay in?

  18. boffin
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Perplexing indeed, Sir.

    Is the Cabinet actually pursuing a hidden, Remain-by-stealth agenda?

    If not, why the pointless delay in proceeding with our departure?

    (The masses were fed with so many lies during the campaign it seems that a modicum of cynicism now is not inappropriate).

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Ha, after posting that comment I’ve just read this:

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/711772/Theresa-May-EU-European-Union-Bratislava-summit-Poland-Slovakia-free-movement-Brexit

    “Gang of EU nations say they will block Brexit unless May lets their citizens work in UK”

    “The leaders of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic are ready to put the brakes on Brexit and issued a stark warning to Mrs May.”

    “Unless we feel a guarantee that these people are equal, we will veto any agreement between the EU and Britain. I think Britain knows this is an issue for us where there’s no room for compromise.”

    Well, they can’t stop us leaving the EU, but they can stop us staying in the EEA.

    If anybody is unclear about this, I would simply point out that after Croatia had joined the EU in 2013 it also joined the EEA, but for that to happen it was necessary for the EEA Agreement to be amended as well as the EU treaties; and in both cases that needed the unanimous agreement of all the existing parties to the treaties, as well as Croatia:

    http://www.efta.int/sites/default/files/documents/legal-texts/eea-enlargement/2014/Agreement%2BAnnexes-en.pdf

    “AGREEMENT on the participation of the Republic of Croatia in the European Economic Area”

    “Article 6

    1. This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Present Contracting Parties and the New Contracting Party in accordance with their own procedures. The instruments of ratification or approval shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

    2. It shall enter into force on the day following the deposit of the last instrument of ratification or approval of a Present Contracting Party or the New Contracting Party, provided that the following related protocols enter into force on the same day … “

  20. Bert Young
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I can understand why delaying our letter might be better if it were co-timed with the German elections – a sign from Germany that Merkels’ days had ended would be no bad thing . On the other hand the delay is a costly and a bewildering factor to our electorate .

    Giving notice to officially leave is one thing , achieving the terms of the deal is another . I cannot see why we don’t send the letter now ; our decision has been made and the whole world knows about it . Negotiations are going to be “tricky” and subject to the agreement of 27 countries !! – just imagine the “ifs and buts” that will occur . This entanglement will go on ad infinitum . Press the button now !.

  21. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Nice to see the Visegrad nations doing our work for us. They aim to veto any agreement not continuing free movement .
    That’s a definite for not being part of the single market as it would destroy the government if they tried to sell that to us.
    Why do we continue to finance something we are now excluded from.
    .

    • sulis
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and it’s quite ironic that these countries most opposed to any restrictions on the free movement of their citizens are the also those most opposed to accepting any immigrants in the form of refugees.

  22. Oggy
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Michael Fallons comments were indeed very odd. The EU can do what it likes after we have left so why is Mrs May dithering ?
    Slightly off topic-
    Has the penny finally dropped with Philip Hammond that we have to leave the single market to get control back of our borders.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-16/hammond-said-to-be-ready-to-ditch-single-market-access-on-brexit

  23. oldtimer
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    It was indeed a curious remark. If he ever got to a meeting to seek to exercise the veto I have no doubt the other members would just laugh in his face. UK-EU relations are now in an uncertain twilight world, waiting on the May government to invoke Article 50. In the interim one cannot help noticing the persistent chorus of Remainers who seek to undermine the referendum result. It is not far fetched to think that some of them will be providing active help to EU officials and politicians who also want to overturn the result. After all they have form – overturning the Irish and French referendum results and installing puppet governments in Italy and Greece to name but four instances. Brexit is a crisis for the EU so every effort will be made to frustrate the result. This would require the humiliation of the UK negotiators and the rejection of the presumed UK negotiating position of free trade in goods and services – if only to discourage others thinking of exit. We shall get a better understanding of the nerve and steel of the May government when that moment arrives.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      The EU does have a lot of form on overturning referendum and election results, but on the face of it this time they accept our vote to leave and want us to get on with it. The people who are trying to frustrate the will of the people are some of our own citizens, some of that 4% of eurofanatics in the population. Maybe they have learnt it from the EU, but it doesn’t seem that the EU is actually involved.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A couple of good letters in the Sunday Telegraph today, insisting that we must regain total control of our immigration policy, but unfortunately followed by one perpetuating the myth that the EU may require UK citizens to get visas before entering the EU – a myth kicked off by journalists who struggled with the logical distinction between “visa” and “not visa”.

    While on another blog, somebody who commented that other countries might object to the UK using an EEA provision to exclude their citizens has been summarily banned …

    • BOF
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Denis, I plead guilty to the first letter. I have become thoroughly fed up with Mr Booker and he was at it again today! Please write in to the Telegraph, JR Bloggers as I have little hope of being published two weeks running.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Well done!

  25. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Yes a very odd intervention by the Defence Secretary which No 10 has done nothing to slap down unlike ill-judged comments from Brexit ministers. Let me be charitable to him – as a NATO member we DO have a right to speak against EU initiatives which will inevitably divert funding in NATO countries like France and Poland away from NATO objectives and towards EU objectives.

  26. Mark B
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It is the lies and the deceit that get me. If something is so good, why resort to such measures ?

    To be fair, the EU has never sought to hide its intentions, only OUR own political class and media.

    I am also becoming increasingly concerned about some of the rhetoric with regard to this, sort of, Faux Eurosceptism. Those on the continent my come out with bold, and really rather rash and silly comments, but I expect my elected representatives to behave and conduct themselves in a more professional manner.

    These negative comments against other EU Citizens legally residing hear and their status, the aforementioned comments by Mr. Fallon MP and more, do not engender people or help to persuade others to come round to your view. It is more designed to appeal to the mob and I for one have little time for it. I am NOT impressed, and neither should anyone else !

    Less words, more deeds please !

    • Mark B
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Hear = here

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Don’t worry, Mark. We all do it.

  27. James Matthews
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    It is said that in the early stages of the American Civil war one Union commander (General McClellan) appeared so reluctant to engage the enemy that President Lincoln asked him if he could borrow his army as he wasn’t using it. Probably unfair and possibly untrue, but a good story.

    Perhaps someone should ask Mrs May to loan them the Brexit team.

  28. Martin
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Mr Fallon should be sorting out the UK’s “withered” armed forces rather than commenting on the EU-27.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/17/uks-withered-armed-forces-could-not-withstand-russia-attack-reti/

  29. Local lad
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Where does NATO come into all of this. I believe most of the major EU members are also members of NATO.

  30. Chris
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    On a more general point, if you will allow, I found this article by Gerald Warner very interesting, and very relevant to the referendum result and the attitude of some of the Remainers
    http://reaction.life/brexit-britain-firmly-conservative/

  31. rose
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind his vetoing the idea – except, as you and others say, it is now a fact – because we are still paid up net contributors to this project and this policy will be destabilising and even dangerous for us once we are out. I do mind our carrying on with the payments when we are excluded from the meetings. By all means argue the British are leaving so should have no say; in which case don’t take their money. In fact there is still an argument for listening to what we say anyway as we weren’t born yesterday.

  32. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic a tad:

    Surprising, post-Referendum to see The Rt Hon Mr Lidington MP, Leader of the House of Commons still in post. Astonishing to see him on the Front Bench after Mr Cameron had tap-watered on his chips and quitted. Gob-smacked to see and hear him on Sunday Politics with Andrew Neil saying , with aplomb of course: “There are no quick fixes ” to reducing immigration.

    Of course he is maddeningly intelligent and competent. But his assurances to Parliament as I watched pre-referendum of “a balanced Campaign” of Leave and Remain did not quite hit the spot for many. I see he is a technician. But there are people who have the wit to “quick-fix”. One can go from the James Bond scenario…obviously extremely fanciful of having red and white border gates which actually are capable of stopping a speeding Aston Martin DB5 ( which I had in my belov-ed Corgi collection as a kid ) ,and soldiers with machine guns, and backspacing to lesser forms of intercedence to stop individuals crossing our borders which are largely salty and wet or composed of nitrogen,oxygen, and hydrogen.

    I guess extremely intelligent people have an even worse problem than the rest of us that if we are paid a penny per hour more than our fellows we develop a posh accent and change from playing darts to golf. But The Rt Honourable Mr Lidington’s notion of “no quick fixes” is beneath him. The fact is: we are all in trouble…massively…whether we voted Remain or Leave if we don’t actually LEAVE the EU promptly and immigration is STOPPED ( quick-fix) . This thing about “DEMOCRACY” keeps raising its ugly head like a dead ex-girlfriend at ones local reservoir. It needs a ten pound hammer to quick-fix it.Not a ten kg hammer.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Quite a turn of phrase. I’m surprised that passed moderation.

  33. Newmania
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Personally I think an EU army would be worth considering. One of the issues Trump has ( regrettably ) capitalised on is how thankless it is for America to finance the security of Western Europe much of which lives permanently in cloud cuckoo land . I cannot imagine how infuriating it must be listen to a parochial debating society bore like the bearded nit witter on about how dreadful America is whilst expecting hard pressed US tax payers to buy us security and safety. Europe must start to look after itself

    That is the serious issue the silly one is the “Scary EU army “…
    There is conceptual defence policy and in theory actions by various countries are within an EU framework . They are not however an EU army or under EU command in the field. Furthermore despite the fact the EU army was imagine some 40 to 50 years ago no progress has been made so when remain assured the tin foil hatted blogsters they could go back to discussing continuity glitches in Lord of the Rings that was the truth
    Michael Fallon said
    “However irritating the Eurocrats are in Brussels, now is not the time to withdraw from the “western alliance” when Britain faces multiple threats from Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, crime and international terrorism.”
    Fair point
    In the sane world ,there is no denying that by destabilising the Western Alliance Brexit has made us less safe , if the worst were to happen and the preening thin skinned man baby Trump grabbed power then it would really start to look dangerous
    There are real threats facing this country and senior politicians should spend less time throwing raw meat to conspiracy theorists, and more time trying to plot and safe and secure future for the people of this country .

    Btw IU did laugh at Farrage’s claim that te people of this country voted to leave the single market this morning . If the vote had been confined to those who knew what it was Remain would have won 95% of the vote . What a joker

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      “when Britain faces multiple threats from Russia’s president Vladimir Putin”

      You beggar belief, Nemania.

      It’s the EU that has declared expansionist tendencies right up to Russia’s borders. Quite the reverse of your version (as usual.)

      “If the vote had been confined to who knew what the single market was…”

      We know what the single market is but dislike the political control which comes with it.

      Your side lost. Now grow up and get over it.

      (If you really think the economy is going to collapse then sell your house and invest the capital elsewhere and go into rental. Otherwise not even you believe in what you say.)

      • Newmania
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        The Insitute of Fiscal Studies estimate a 5% loss of growth if we crash our of the single market and the Bundesbank have today said London will lose its hub statis if it cuts itself off from selling services into the EU .

        • Edward2
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          Are they the same ones who predicted disaster immediately after the vote day?

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          “London will lose its hub statis if it cuts itself off from selling services into the EU .”

          And London will lose its UK Parliamentary hub status if we continue to be subsumed into the EU political project.

          You bang on as though the EU is working swimmingly and there are no plans to steal our wealth by means of fiscal union, which, in a way, the mass movement of EU unemployed to these shores is also about.

        • bluedog
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

          5% loss of growth. Not 5% loss of GDP. Scarcely worth worrying about, if if true. Do some work on systemic risk, starting with Italy’s sovereign debt and the loan books of the Italian banks. Then reread what the IMF says about Deutsche Bank. Then look at the rapid decline in Germany’s manufactured exports. The EU is on the economic brink.

          The threat to the British economy is not from Brexit, but from the structural weaknesses in the EU which cannot be easily changed because of the nature of the Euro.

          Brexit was an exceptionally prudent exercise in risk management and mitigation by the British electorate.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      We are in NATO, Newmania, that’s the point.

      If the EU paid its share instead of freeloading whilst having delusions of grandeur, none of what you say about America would be necessary. Yesthey must be fed up with it, so are we. We need to get out, but its looking more and more as if we won’t, with gerrymandering from the bad losers who are determined to bring this country down, like the Scots who want ‘independence’ but want to be ruled by Brussels. Nonsensical and probably just based on bloddy mindedness. As Anon says, grow up.

      • Newmania
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        You will recall the US were amongst the chorus from ever friend we have in the world begging us not to weaklen the West our economny and the EU ec0nomy by this foolish act of deluded nostalgia

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Just because the western *progressive* middle class (BBC types) have an issue with Putin – mainly, it seems, over his indifferent attitude towards homosexuality (this is what it boils down to) – it doesn’t mean that deals can’t be done. Trump has the right ideas.

        I have much time for gay causes, but stop poking the Bear with a stick. It doesn’t like extremist Islam any more than we do and would be a good ally in the real fight for our national soul ( one of Newmania’s causes.)

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    From Lord Owen today:

    http://www.brexitcentral.com/lord-owen-outside-dysfunctional-eu-common-defence-agenda-must-champion-strengthen-nato/

    “The EU policy paper Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe. A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy was presented to the Heads of Government Brussels summit meeting on 28th June 2016 quickly followed on 13th July by the publication of the German White Paper on German Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr. Both papers had been held back deliberately to avoid debate during the UK referendum. These documents are likely to be the defining moment in the creation of a continental United States of Europe and the deepest political reason for the UK voting to leave the EU.”

    Just to emphasise this, these papers HAD BEEN HELD BACK DELIBERATELY to avoid debate during the UK referendum.

  35. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Surely while we are in the EU we will get sucked into this thing anyway – even if its only a contribution…. In any case it will affect budgets and those would rise dramatically with this new project. Preventing it happening while we have still some possible chance of being suckered for it is vital

  36. ChrisS
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    If the 27 plan to go ahead immediately, our money will be used to set up the new HQ as they will divert funds from the current EU budget.

    There is clearly a strong case for us to use our veto to prevent any expenditure on the project while we continue to contribute to the budget.

    I have no wish to stop the 27 doing what they want to do, however much it looks like gesture politics and another move designed to make the EU look more like a State. Just not with a single pound of our money.

  37. Margaret
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Michael Fallon still doesn’t believe we are leaving. Some people just won’t believe the facts or the truth even if it helps them.

  38. ian
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    You the people on this site are worrying to much, democracy is on it way in the form of ukip and the labour parties, patience is the word, i told you four years ago that would bring the vote to the people and i am doing it for the brothers and sisters of this country, i am on the home run. Ghost rider ride again to vanish the devil children from the people parliament.

    Loving it hear.

  39. turboterrier
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to say John but the whole European theatre of all this mess is full of politicians who still believe that threats work,

    If Mother Theresa cannot understand what you have been telling us for weeks is that it doesn’t have to be this way in the words of the immortal Benny Hill “why she no resson?”

    Repeal the act that ties us to Europe and tell them as it is,” this country never rolled over for the Herr Hitler” and we ain’t going to change now. Sad but very true the politicians issuing these threats will be very lucky to be in post by the time we eventually leave.

    For too long we have been the milch cow for Europe along with Germany and enough is enough.

    In reality the British public have had enough of all this nonsense so the message to Mother Theresa is JFD or walk away this country has never bowed to threats and bullies.

    For all those who have allusions of this proud country staying within the EU and being controlled by them, the second word is off.

  40. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Just Googled the court case issue and found it is true. Oh well, just have to wait and see but I am not holding my breath.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, by failing to send in the notice immediately, as he had promised, and instead resigning immediately, also contrary to his promise, Cast-Iron Cameron provided the enemies of the people with a window of opportunity to obstruct and possibly prevent our withdrawal from the EU. Consider this to be his last gift to the nation.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    European military co-operation between individual Nation States is one thing. That could be called an alliance.

    More thorough in theory is an army created by a Federal State. If a command language could be agreed, with all soldiers, sailors and airmen speaking it, it would be a force to be reckoned with – and dangerous to the UK to boot.

    We in the UK have to consider this when forming a foreign policy. We must try, in our own interest, to ensure that only a limited number of EU Member States join a European Federal State.

    The diplomacy needed to ensure this will be tricky. What incentives can we offer EU Member States to leave the Euro Zone?

  42. Freeborn John
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    The UK and US should make a joint declaration that they will not come to the defence of any state that participates in EU common defence, even if they are NATO members. EU defence is clearly aimed at decoupling European defence from the USA and the U.K. should never get itself in the position of offering defence guarantees to European countries without US backing.

  • About John Redwood


    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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