Independence and military co-operation

The main  continental EU countries are out to strengthen their military collaboration. Over the years they have worked away at joint exercises, common weapons procurement, common standards, exchange of personnel, unified commands and shared missions. There are now military interventions undertaken by EU directed troops or naval vessels. The UK has been particularly concerned about being pulled into a European army, owing to the legal constraints that operate on a  member state once it has accepted the competence of the EU in any given area. Some think the UK has already consented to more collaboration than is desirable and is now entrapped. Others accept that as we leave the EU we cannot be forced to co-operate or to participate against our will.

The UK has been keener on joint working through NATO, including our US allies. NATO too has a long tradition of common action, shared defence procurement programmes, common standards and procedures, exchanges of personnel and unified commands for given tasks, exercises and missions. It is clear under the NATO  charter that whilst we and the other members sign a mutual pledge to defend each other, a NATO member is free to determine their own commitment to any resulting NATO action. NATO is a coalition of the willing, that makes up missions from members in  the light of the needs based on consent.

Under President Trump the USA would like the continental countries to make a bigger contribution to NATO defence. The USA points out that European members of NATO rely on US engagement and the common security guarantee for their ultimate protection. Surely, the US asks, the Europeans could at least meet the minimum funding requirement for NATO membership so they are making a bit better contribution to the collective defence?

The UK does meet the minimum requirement, and does possess military capability to join NATO engagements around the world, contributing naval vessels, aircraft and mobile soldiers. UK forces have worked  hard to ensure they can co-operate with US forces, as well as undertaking training and exercises with European forces.

Setting our armed services in the context of collaboration and assistance with others does bring a downside. It might mean that we lack particular capabilities where we rely on others, which would limit our own ability to undertake a mission for ourselves. The UK needs to ensure it has sufficient capability to go to the assistance of our own territories or allies, and to defend ourselves at home, whoever the aggressor and whatever our principal allies might think.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The creation of a EU unified defence force is, much like the EURO, a political statement rather various a serious attempt at building creditable military.

    What is so attractive to both politicians, defence companies and senior members of the armed services is the budgets. For the latter they will be larger, but for the former they will be smaller, as countries like the UK contribute more, both in money and personel.

    What concerns me is the lack of proper democratic control. Not that I think it will ever be a proper military.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      “What concerns me is the lack of proper democratic control” – exactly but that is the EU all over. It is anti-democratic, as we saw yesterday with Ursula’s election – only one choice her (and even then it was 52% for to 48% against). She scraped hope against no one.

      Then again there is not even a sensible EU Demos for a democracy to be based on. So many different countries with very different interests, languages, histories, traditions, religions, stages of development, policits and the rest.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        Should we demand another “confirmatory” vote perhaps as it was only 52% to 48%.

        Also a secret vote it seems so the MEPs can lie about whom they supported! Who did the Conservave MEPs vote for? Just four of them now as they only got 9% of the vote – thanks to May and Hammond.

        • Andy
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Of one thing you can be sure: she wont give a fig for the 48% just as our Remainiacs wouldn’t have given a fig had the 2016 Referendum been the other way around.

      • Grist
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        But only 52% means that she didn’t win and there has to be a second vote.

      • Andy
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        The irony!

        You posted Ursula’s 52 / 48 victory in outrage at the closeness of it all before you realised what it actually meant.

        Still she has the support of MEPs who represent more than half of the EU’s population.

        Remind us how much proven support the soon to be PM Johnson has among the UK public?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Well he had rather a lot as Mayor of London twice. Given Khan’s dismal performance he would still have quite a lot not too I would have thought.

          At least he does seem to believe in a real Brexit, Lower Taxes, Smaller Government and individuals freedom to choose. We shall see if the MPs let him do the right things or not.

          I tend to think he does not really believe in all the absurdly alarmist climate exaggerations and renewables guff. But perhaps that is wishful thinking.

        • Jagman84
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Oh, the irony!

          The public didn’t get to vote for the new President of the commission so her level of popular support cannot be gauged. However, her rock-bottom level of support in Germany is enlightening.

          Ps, thanks for this month’s pension. Much appreciated. Keep working hard old chap. Like private schooling, Caribbean cruises don’t pay for themselves!

          • Andy
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            The public don’t directly elect the president of the United States either.

            If they did he would be a she.

            Is that undemocratic in your mind or is it just a different system?

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          I think LL was saying that she had no real opposition and still only mustered 52%.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Andy….I know you have a little trouble with maths, especially which is bigger 52 or 48, but in the UK REF, 33m people voted, Leave won by 1,269,000 rounded. In the election for Merkel’s pick, 747 were available to vote (4 more didn’t – probably thought whats the point) – so to help you with it, that means 374 votes would mean Merkel’s choice wins. Well, surprise surprise, Ursula won by the handsome margin of 7, yes only 7 votes. The MEPs who voted for her did so of their free will, of course. So although you might not get it, or wish to understand, there were rather a lot of MEPs who certainly didn’t want her in office. Democracy rules!

        • sm
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          It wasn’t ‘outrage’ at the voting result, Andy, it was mockery.

          And your use of the word ‘victory’ when there were no other contestants is…well…contestable!

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          About 2% – those democracy loving oligarchs in the shires. People are about to realise that democracy British style is a sham and always has been.

      • Mark
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        It was disappointing to find that 383 MEPs thought that no better candidate would be found if they rejected her. It is also a commentary on the process that promotes a politician with a track record of failure. It suggests she will not be powerful, but will bend to pressure just as she did by promising zero carbon to secure extra votes.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink


        “What concerns me is the lack of proper democratic control” – exactly but that is the EU all over. It is anti-democratic, as we saw yesterday with Ursula’s election – only one choice her”

        Aren’t we lucky to have a few country yokel establishment figures announce our new prime minister soon?

        • L Jones
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear, Ms Howard. Desperate for something spiteful to say?

        • Peter D Gardner
          Posted July 19, 2019 at 1:05 am | Permalink

          Why are you here?

    • James1
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Defence is a key duty of the government, along with the justice system. There are many who would argue that they do neither well and should concentrate on carrying out their primary functions. Radical constraint of their superfluous and relatively trivial activities would also save taxpayers vast amounts of money.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      It is indeed a an EU military industrial complex. Very cosy. However, its purpose, according to Juncker, is force projection in support of EU expansion. Arming the EU is an act of collective insanity.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I agree, Peter, collective insanity. This is particularly the case when the last 24 hours has clearly shown that the EU is quite prepared to inflict damage on its own citizens in order to protect – what? The institution itself. The thought of these decision makers being in charge of modern weapons is terrifying.
        A great deal has been written about the incompetence of our own government and HoC in our mainstream media, rightly so. What is far less often mentioned is that if our politicians are, with a few honourable exceptions such as our host, of a generally miserable quality, then what can be said about politicians in the EU? They are surely as bad or worse if you look at their track record? I have bought and sold companies internationally. Like many business people, I learned as a young man that an agreement that was good for only one side would fall apart almost before the ink was dry.
        How can we have reached a point, thanks to the BBC and others, where we have been fed the line that our politicians are dreadful and liars whereas those in the EU are somehow superb and truthful. We’ve been brainwashed. And, at the risk of once again being treated to silence, come on Andy, Margaret H et al, give us just three things that are good about the EU as an institution!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Just FYI –

      The European Corps is an intergovernmental military corps of approximately 1,000 soldiers stationed in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. The corps had its headquarters established in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995. Wikipedia
      Founded: 1993
      Headquarters: Strasbourg, France
      Branch: Army
      Eurocorps Commander: Lieutenant General Jürgen Weigt – Born: 14 November 1957 (age 61 years), Ochtendung, Germany
      Deputy Commander: Major General Pierre Gérard
      Engagement: European Union Training Mission in Mali

  2. agricola
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    As an indelendent sovereign nation the UK must be militarily self sufficient. It’s principal military alliancd is NATO where as you say our contrbutions on the ground are voluntary. NATO sprang out of failures in Europe. There is nothing I have seen to date that suggests that Europe (EU) would not repeat those failures. Their political reaction to any crisis that effects them is usually fragmented and driven by their individual nations interests. Do you see Germany acting in any way that interupts it’s energy supply. If and when the EU is an USEU then maybe, but as the foundations of such are begining to crumble I have my doubts. The very basis on which they are trying to build an USEU is politically flawed because it is outside the democratic control of the people. When the EU parliament is the ultimate centre of power, maybe it could work.
    , but not under the present system of top down direction.

    • agricola
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      How did this escape moderation. Not very long, arrived before the milk, not very contraversial. I really wonder what criteria you apply ,despite your odd missive on the subject, which gets ignored within days.

  3. Dominic
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Ursula von der Leyen, German. Christine Lagarde, French. Defence and finance. We all know where this is heading.

    One’s a Trump hating, Euro-federalist obsessed with creating a wider EU defence role and the other’s just a tainted, scarred and utterly disreputable politician of a kind that offends all sense of propriety

    I’d expect a diminution of the role of NATO and an expansion of collaboration and possible integration of all EU member states defence forces

    With Leyen now in charge we should see a more flexible European defence force. Expansion of creche facilities, flexible working for mothers, time off for fathers, diversity programs for those that don’t like firing guns, the usual ‘progressive’ ignorance. The Russians will be absolutely shaking with fear and dread

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink


      ” the other’s just a tainted, scarred and utterly disreputable politician of a kind that offends all sense of propriety”

      Aren’t we lucky that we will be given the fragrant Boris as prime minister soon? We don’t even have to bother to vote for him as it will be done for us.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink


    Ursula von der Leyen sound totally dire. Another women with a compass 180 degrees out from what is needed.

    She even campaigned for a statutory quota for female participation on company boards in Germany. So she clearly wants blatantly anti-male discrimination in the work place and as a result worse company board across Germany. As it would no longer be done on merit. How can someone who did economics not even understand supply and demand & markets?

    Why can women not win places on merit? Many, of course, quite sensibly just choose not to apply for or compete for such demanding jobs as it does not suit their work life balance?

    Women can set up their own companies if they want to and choose exactly the boards they want. No sensible company will ignore talent (if it can do the job well at the right price) if it is available to them. Be this a man, woman, a robot or AI!

    If there is all this pool of underpaid, female talent around then any company that takes them on would surely wipe the floor with the competition.

    Not that there are very many female engineers, physicists or computer programmers as most choose other subjects for some reason even at A level this is very clear. But do not say this true statement (even in private) if you are a man working at Google or other PC/Woke places – as you are likely to be fired. Truth is no defence it seems.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      A letter in the Telegraph today rightly points out that Theresa May has confirmed just how poor a prime minister she has been by stating that “leading the country is not a position of power”. It isn’t if the person leading it stands for nothing, believes in nothing and fails to inspire anyone to anything other than resignation and apathy.

      Though she did appear to believe in Brexit in name only, pushing identity politics, inflicting people with the highest and most idiotic and complex taxes for 50 years, with declining public services and endless more damaging red tape at every turn.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        UK sent ‘Dad’s Army’ to Brexit talks, claims Brussels official. Well it was rather worse than that. Dad’s army were at least trying their best for King and country, were patriotic, honest, on the right side and were amusing with it.

        May’s team were, depressingly, the complete opposite.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      I suggest you make the effort to read some of the research undertaken by the Institute of Physics around why so few girls choose A level physics and the results of some of the intervention efforts that they have trialled.

      The research shows that factors such as stereotyping and unconscious bias are huge influences and there is no inherent disposition against the subject based on gender.

      Women can compete on merit. Competing against biased attitudes, expectations and 1950s stereotypes is more of a challenge.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Indeed some can indeed compete. In medicine for example they already are slightly more than 50% entering university. But they do, whether you like it or not, tend to not to choose Further Maths, Physics, Engineering or computer science as often as men. The figures are very clear indeed. Nor do they tend to choose high level chess for example very often. Meanwhile in performing arts and languages we have the reverse situation.

        They do seems to prefer biology or “people” repair engineering to aircraft, mechanical or structural engineering. Not that there is anything wrong with this. But it is surly wrong to pretend it is not true?

        My daughter is doing Physics and Further Maths etc. at A levels – 12 boys and three girls in these classes. Which is it seems about typical. Even lower ratios in computer science.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 18, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        The Institute of Physics seems to be driven more by PC politics than logic and reason. Such organisations do tend to become absudly PC and Woke. I would welcome more female physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists but if they choose not to that is surely their choice. No point in pretending people are somehow stopping them.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          “No point in pretending people are somehow stopping them.”

          Except, of course, the scientific research shows they are.

  5. Shirley
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Cooperation (such as NATO) is good for everyone. Having our military under direct rule from the EU is extremely bad and should be avoided at all costs. The EU is not an equal partnership, and never will be. I can imagine the UK receiving a hefty fine if it ever refuses to follow orders that would cause great expense or hardship to the UK.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink


      Agreed, we always seem to co -operate with everyone else, but few ever seem to want to co-operate with us when needed.

      Just look at the recent arresting of the oil Tanker just off of Gibralter, who is taking all the flack for that, when all we are doing is supporting EU policy.

      Remember the Falklands, I know its a long time ago, but we had to twist a good few arms before we got some co-operation with that, and all we were asking for was non supply of arms to the Argentinians.

      In more recent times it is cyber warfare and the usefulness of GCHQ to the rest of the World, does anyone else share this cost, as well as use the information.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        “Remember the Falklands,”

        Would you be prepared to get involved in other countries’ colonial wars?

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink


          What a strange view you have of the World, no one asked others to get involved, we just asked other nations not to help an aggressor who had invaded another country by force.

          From your comments am I to assume you think invading another country is acceptable, and everyone should just stand by, and nothing should be done to put matters right.

          • margaret howard
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

            Country? The Falklands?

            As for not invading another country – no, I don’t think it is acceptable but when I point out Iraq and meddling in the Middle East people here claim: “That’s different.”


          • Edward2
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink


    • Jagman84
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      If the EU27 were withdrawn from NATO, at some future point in time, such as at the creation of the federal EU, would they be required to sign a withdrawal treaty and pay exhorbitant amounts of dollars to the remaining members? Would they need to pay up all of their shortfall in contributions?

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    For the very reason that governments have known where we were going with the EU, they have cut our military forces to the bone. Perhaps they were directed to do so.
    Having a proper military capability is one thing that makes a nation – without such a force we are defenceless and open to all sorts of problems. The rest of the world has shown how much we need to have a real fighting force, and this is one thing that should be reestablished – More important even than the NHS.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      That prescient Mr EP again:
      ”Talk at Bruges or Luxembourg about not surrendering our national sovereignty is all very well. It means less than nothing when the keys to our national defence are being handed over: an island nation which no longer commands the essential means of defending itself by air and sea is no longer sovereign…The safety of this island nation reposes upon two pillars. The first is the impregnability of its homeland to invasion by air or sea. The second is its ability and its will to create over time the military forces by which the last conclusive battle will be decided. Without our own industrial base of military armament production neither of those pillars will stand. No doubt, with the oceans kept open, we can look to buy or borrow from the other continents; but to depend on the continent of Europe for our arms is suicide….”

      • Otto
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Without Army, Airforce or Navy how does the island of Costa Rica survive? By being insignificant? Perhaps that’s the way the UK should go – might be happier without any threats and richer too with no defence budget.

      • Bill
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Enoch was the best Prime Minister we never had. Even better than Mrs T, for Enoch was ex-Military!

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink


          “Enoch was the best Prime Minister we never had. ”

          And no doubt you loved his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech!

  7. Pete S
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    OT: Sir John, could we have a precis of what so called vision, Leyen laid out at Strasbourg. It would be helpful to know what the projected EU is going to be.

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I think it is more likely the EU army will be deployed within the EU itself to put down civil unrest as happened when they crushed Greece with austerity measures.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      got it in one!

    • Christine
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      This is the nub of the whole matter. Deploying military from one EU country against another. We have already seen the EU military deployed with shockingly extreme force against the Yellow Vests in France. No word of condemnation from the EU or the MSM. This news has been to be obtained from other sources. The question has to be asked, does no-one else see where this will lead in the future?

      As usual, the people understand and see clearly but not the politicians, if one can apply that description to those people in the EU.

      Slightly off topic, I love the 52/48 result of the Leyen appointment (it would be a misnomer to call it an election, as there was only one candidate). The question has to be asked, did they know who they were voting for? LOL

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        There seems to be a news blackout in fact.

        • hefner
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Anon., what about setting your search engine to ‘all countries’ or at least moving it from its default ‘United Kingdom’ to ‘Germany’, ‘Italy’, ‘France’, ‘Spain’ or any other EU countries. You might not be able to read the articles but might realise that the election of UvdL has been heavily commented in the European press and media as there are hundreds of articles, some positive some negative.
          Could it be that it is a UK ‘blackout’?

        • jane4brexit
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 12:48 am | Permalink

          I expect the BBC didn’t want to quote what she said about her win “A majority is a majority in politics…”, I read it in a Breitbart London article “Merkel’s Protegy….”.

        • jane4brexit
          Posted July 18, 2019 at 12:51 am | Permalink

          Sorry I knew it didn’t look right it should be spelt ‘protege’…

    • Andy
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      We may see an army of Oompa Loompa’s mounted on unicorns first.

    • John Probert
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Yes I agree they will need the EU army to uphold the pretence of Democracy

      The European Commission is all democratic you Know !

      Its not appointed or anything like that

      • bill brown
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        John Robert

        Absolute nonsense picked by European Parliament and nonsense as they are picked by 28 heads who are picked by the elcctorate

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      “they crushed Greece with austerity measures.”

      So tell – why do Greek voters consistently vote for pro EU governments?

      Because they know without EU help they would have collapsed. Instead they are now beginning to see a recovery.

    • Pablo
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      The Irish Army is working with the Germans and Finns down in Chad, could be the start of something, so I’m told

  9. formula57
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Whilst “Some think the UK has already consented to more collaboration than is desirable and is now entrapped” a reading of May’s treacherous Political Declaration shows, per the analysis of the Anonymous Civil Servant of 8th., February 2019, that they may be correct for: –

    Paragraph 3 means – Full political integration, including the necessary steps to sign UK into a federal EU with its own defence forces and foreign policy.

    It commits UK to paying for EU defence programmes, undermines independent defence policy,procurement and NATO.

    Paragraph 92 means – Pax Europa (with UK money).

    It requires a reorientation of foreign policy to suit the EU. Supports rise of a military EU. We might have to agree to join the Common Foreign and Security Policy in order to get a trade deal in order to leave the backstop…

    Paragraphs 101 – 103 – Integration with EU foreign and defence policy under EU law (“Union-led”).

    This undermines sovereignty, undermines NATO, compromises our successful defence strategy, lends out military power to the EU’s foreign policy ambitions.

    Could also be very costly.

    All of this was, per May the Quisling, in the best interests of the U.K. and who knows what steps have been taken to prepare or provide for some or all of it. Who knows how much of it is agreeable to Messrs. Hunt (presumably all since he was in the Cabinet that approved it) and Johnson?

  10. acorn
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Britain’s defence spending has fallen below two per cent (actual 1.8%). The MoD is using pension contributions to mask its true figure, an MPs report has said. Although the government says it spends 2.1 percent of GDP on Defence, the new figures suggest Britain first dipped below two per cent in 2014/15 and has not recovered since.

    The MPs claim that the MoD only met the two per cent benchmark by adjusting what was counted as being part of defence expenditure, such as £1 billion in war pensions and MoD civilian pensions, in 2016. (Source: Telegraph)

  11. Alex
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Alliances have large dowsides as you mention. Principly our cow towing to Washington has led the UK into being involved in several illegal and immoral wars. Our current push to start a war with Iran is merely the most recent. Britain should cease provoking and participating in wars that do us absolutely no good and should not support any country that does. I know that’s a forlorn hope given the money made by arms companies and the liberal distribution of benefits to politicians but the hypocritical moralising of ministers is just too much to take.

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      We now have a bargaining chip for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe . It’s the only kind of thing the Iranians understand. Their motive for moving her to a psychiatric ward is however alarming. It may pressage the kind of treatment the Soviets dished out to dissenters.

    • Leaver
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Sorry to be picky. But it’s kowtow not cow towing.

      I believe it derives from prostrating oneself before the Japanese Emperor, not towing a cow.

      I think defence spending will come under increasing pressure due to the weight of demographic forces on the budget. As the Baby boomers retire and need end of life care, we will likely be spending large amounts of money on the N.H.S and pensions until 2030.

      I’m not too worried about the E.U army. It seems they can barely agree over their new leader, let alone make any major financial or military decisions.

      • Jagman84
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I presume that you are not aware of the intervention by predictive text and the absence of edit functions on posts? It’s often particularly bad on android devices.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Do true.

          Sighs !

        • hefner
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          As already advised before, it is possible to deactivate predictive text in both Android- and Apple-related word processing systems.
          On Apple systems go to >Settings>General> then in the Keyboard section turn off >auto-correction.
          On Android, it is located somewhere within the Swiftkey menu.

      • sm
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        “As baby-boomers retire and need end-of-life care…”

        I think you will find that their children and grandchildren will also retire one day and need pensions and care in old age too, Leaver.

      • steve
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


        “not cow towing.”

        ……But in theory it is possible.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        I don’t know whether the Japanese emperor followed the example but,most famously, kowtow was originally what you did in the presence of the Chinese Emperor,ruler of all under heaven.

  12. Newmania
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The West is experiencing a collective blonde momen , and neither the Trump or Boris version are edifying. That said, Donaldism makes much more sense .
    It is temporary and it is far less of a break than may appear. Any US president would now be backing off NATO, European Commitments ( including the UK) and turning its attention to the East. Unfortunately,just as the US turns away form us, we have chosen to isolate ourselves form the other great pillar of our global standing; the EU
    Given this reduced status, why waste billions posturing. We are now an isolated small country with no special reason to pay for global policing, let us at least save the money.
    As for the EU army .. I`ll leave that to the tin foil hate brigade.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink


      Another piece of lol analysis from you .

      By the way did you see in City AM

      JP Morgan goes on City of London hiring spree, The US investment bank is setting up new London teams that will target small businesses across Europe following a similar move by its rival Goldman Sachs.

      Who would have thought it eh

      Do you think JPM & Goldman Sachs worked out how to cope with lack of passporting…. yes I think they have.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Oh and Newmania & Andy

        Do you think that maybe you and your beloved EU might be a little bit behind the curve? Its what happens with protective, over regulated markets, they stagnate and get overtaken by new innovations. The EU is so 20th century in a 21st century world

        UK fintech startups have reached a record level of $2.9 billion of funding in the first half of this year, across a total of 123 deals.

        The deal data, compiled by Innovate Finance, paints a positive picture of the sector despite the turbulent political and economic climate, with investment on track to eclipse last year’s record of $3.3bn.

        Greensill Capital and OakNorth attracted the two largest deals this year, with $880 million and $440 million respectively.

        Challenger banks including OakNorth ($440m), Monzo ($147m) and Starling Bank ($98m) dominated the charts with the most significant investments. The payments and foreign exchange sectors also experienced large investments with companies such as ($230m), WorldRemit ($175m) and GoCardless ($76m) raising further rounds to support their growth.

        In terms of the number of deals, London fintechs accounted for 78% while other parts of the UK made up 22%.

        There is a Fintech startup every 50 seconds in the UK

      • Newmania
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        I cannot say how much I value your input Libertarian

        • Richard1
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          You find his points rather tricky to respond to right?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Typical remained reaction. Don’t listen or take in anything important or factual.

      • bill brown
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


        The angry so-called expert has spoken again.

        He will continue to tell the rest of the World they are idiots and he is an expert, also lecturing at a second rate business school as an expert.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        And still the £ continues to drop like a stone.

        Do you think the markets know something you don’t?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          Well, drop a few cents Margaret.
          Like they did over the years of our EU membership.
          Near parity to over $1.60.
          What caused all those movements?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      ‘Great pillar of our global standing’? You are sometimes very funny, Newmania!

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Always an insult when one dares question the EU. Which is why I got fed up and voted every way I possibly could to leave it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      “It is temporary and it is far less of a break than may appear.”

      You wish.

      I can tell you now. You liberals have pushed beyond breaking point. This is only the beginning.

      The latest: Man who stabs someone in the neck is released to stab someone to death on a train. Train company gets fined 1 million pounds because man gets killed leaning out of moving train window.

      This is the shear INSANITY of the liberal elite which rules us.

      Where’s our Trump ???

      • L Jones
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        They’re still ”elite”, are they?
        I think they’ve conclusively proved otherwise by now.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      The USA’s Asia pivot is floundering-the Sino-Russian presence is too strong.Even Japan has started preliminary discussions with Russia about military co-operation.And Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines,in his usual abrasive way,has said his country will not be used as cannon fodder.I believe America’s attention might be turning more towards Africa.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


        “I believe America’s attention might be turning more towards Africa.”

        Now that they are fracking they won’t have to invade any oil rich Middle Eastern countries any longer.

        So what are they after in Africa? I think they are worried about the ever increasing Chinese presence there. Still China is too big to invade so they will have to learn to exist alongside them.

        What irony since not so long ago in historical terms Chinese coolies built their railways for them.

        • Yorkie
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

          People will soon say East Europeans made Britain great and also built the pyramids

    • Bill
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Are you a real person, Newmania or a cheap robotic wind-up merchant?
      The US Military always wants to stay with NATO. The USA is now managed by a hard-nosed businessman and the last thing on his mind is ‘extra costs’. Without the support of NATO Nations, the USA would have to police the world itself, just like Britain did, way back. It is expensive and in our case, lead to near bankruptcy.
      LOL How can we be an “Isolated country”? We are the EU’s BIGGEST customer and are running a massive £98 Billions Goods trade deficit with them.
      If you have any idea of business, would you, as a supplier, want to “Isolate” your biggest customer? Only the Kings of the EU Empire would do that because they know nowt about how the real word actually works. Ipso facto.

    • Yorkie
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      …the other great pillar of our global standing; the EU”
      That’s funny!

  13. Peter D Gardner
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    One of the very few balanced and objective views on defence I have seen. One other merit of NATO should be mentioned. It’s entire strategy rests on combining the capabilities each member needs for its own defence. So it goes not detract from national defence capability.
    Secondly I would like to reinforce that NATO never under any circumstances infringes on national sovereignty. Political control of forces remains at all times with the member state. The EU is the opposite and one of the most appalling requirements in Mrs May’s WA is to submit UK forces to political control of the EU. it is quite scandalous but has received little attention in the media. I hope Boris gets a grip on this.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Apologies for my illiterate spell checker.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Stage one:get them imnto NATO
      Stage two:get them into the EU

      The two are clearly linked.That’s how it works,as you can see from the “Euro-Atlantic” expansion to the East.

  14. Everhopeful
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Do we still have any armed forces?
    I thought there were barely enough to fill Wembley Stadium ( assuming that has not been torn up for housing).
    Anyway rumour has it that we are being invaded piecemeal along the Kent coast…and no defence being offered. So where’s the army?
    I seriously wonder if the pc EU could actually fight a war ( not to mention the spurious idea that it was formed to prevent war) and the UK has run down its army etc shamefully.
    A war now would make the Crimea look efficient.
    I do not forget or forgive those parcels of necessities sent out to the poor soldiers during the Gulf War.
    Shame on the establishment.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The EU namely France and Germany want to undermine NATO. They want unified procurement rules to benefit them at our expense.
    We provide the manpower and intelligence whilst they bolster their defence industry.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Again from EP:
      ”…..British contractors for supplying armaments to our armed forces must in future share the work with what are called ‘European firms’, meaning factories situated on the mainland of the European continent…… What would have been the fate of Britain in 1940 if production of the Hurricane and the Spitfire had been dependent upon the output of factories in France?”

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Boris should immediately bring armament supply back to the UK.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      “The EU namely France and Germany want to undermine NATO”

      No, they know NATO has become an American racket. France and Germany were against the Iraq war and we know who was right.

      But we chose to be America’s poodle yet again.

    • Paul
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      You can forget about the EU, France and Germany, after 31st October it will no longer be our business. They may even want to leave NATO and form a new EU defence force, but that’s their business- our manpower or intelligence won’t be needed there any more

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Yet another new tax I read in the Telegraph – this on top of Hammond’s highest taxes for 50 years, his IHT ratting, landlord and pension theft and his new probate tax. The new rubbish tipping taxes for families.

    Designed, one assumes, to encourage more fly tipping everywhere thus probably costing the public far more than it raises. What does the public actually get by way of service for all this endless tax? Very little of any quality or value – and declining by the day too it seems.

    Also in the Telegraph today from Rees-Mogg – It’s a myth that no-deal will make us poorer –

    Indeed it is a myth and one that the BBC and the remoaners repeat almost every single day.

    Well, firstly it should not make us poorer anyway and secondly voters do very often choose to make the country poorer every time they vote Socialist, Labour, SNP, for lefty incompetent, tax to death Conservative MPs (in the May and Hammond mode), Libdims or Plaid. Why should having nimble and democratic, UK based real democracy makes us poorer?

    What will certainly make us far poorer is a Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP government.

    • Al
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      “What does the public actually get by way of service for all this endless tax? ”

      Three weekly bin collections, slop buckets for food waste with resulting rats, six week waiting times in the NHS, train services that result in people losing jobs because they can’t get to work, a new parade of red tape for businesses so bureaucrats can look busy…

      But it has paid for repeated trips to Brussels by May and her hand-picked civil servants, so it is obviously good value. Pardon my cynicism.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Six weeks your doing very well indeed! It can be nearly that just to see the GP.

        • Al
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          I was refering to the GP. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.

          When it comes to hospitals, well, I’m personally on my fourth year on an NHS waiting list due to a bureaucratic mess-up.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink


      Rubbish tip charges go up, so does fly tipping.

      Landfill taxes go up, so does fly tipping.

      No connection or link at all of course.

      • steve
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        Quite possibly Tip charges are illegal.

    • Bob
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      There was a debate in Parliament about the BBC bias and funding method.
      Here is the video link from the UK Parliament Channel:

      • Mark
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        The debate did not tackle the issue of bias at all. The time was spent on arguing about funding for TV licences for those over 75, mainly blaming Hunt,’s deal to get the BBC to pay.

        It seems that MPs are too scared of the BBC to criticize it.

      • Otto
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        I saw this socalled debate on BBC bias. After reading a lot of it I realisd that is was only about the BBC TV license – no word at all about bias in the 3 hours. Did I miss a bit about bias?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      If you want to depress yourself, read the Hansard report on yesterday’s petition debate about the BBC. It shows how hopelessly out of touch most of our politicians from all parties are. I am not unhappy about the BBC being demonstrably biased. I am very unhappy that I have to pay for that bias.

    • sm
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      LL – isn’t it odd that those in authority generally believes you can and should tax people to STOP them doing something, such as smoking, drinking and sugar-imbibing, but that people who are behaving responsibly by taking their rubbish to a legitimate tip should also be taxed?

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      It is not just fly-tipping it is all the bonfires in people’s gardens now. We have one ex-council house nearby that has a whole scrapyard in their garden.

  17. heretofore
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The Europeans realize they cannot depend anymore on a increasingly dysfunctional US- hence Turkey is even going its own way, and in future the US will be tolerated in the NATO sense but the Europeans realize that they have to look out for themselves vis-a vis the Russians, the Turks and threats nearer to home so how the UK is going to fit into all of this I have no idea

    • Kevin Lohse
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      It’s only the US presence in eastern Europe that is giving Vlad pause for thought as he seeks to re-establish a buffer zone between Russia and what used to be the free West but is now the EU. Erdogan has visions of a second Ottoman empire and is moving Turkey back into the medieval era by adopting militant Islam as a political doctrine. The European armed forces are generally a joke. Only the French and UK have recent combat experience and while the quality of Dutch, Scandinavian and Baltic armed forces is good, they are too small to make a significant contribution. An effective Pan-European army is decades away.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        A better historical example would be the territorially vast,rambling,anarchic Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth which Mr Putin’s forebear,Peter the Great, turned into a Russian protectorate in the early 18th century.There is absolutely no point,need or likelihood of Russia invading the EU it will be drawn into closer ties with Russia through the latter’s powers of assimilation.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      More evidence of the EU’s estrangement from the USA and move towards Russia from the Valdai Club(a think tank very close to the Russian government) website today:-“Russia and the EU are ready to switch to settlements in Euros.” 17/7/19

      “On 13th June Russian Finance Minister,Anton Siluanov,had a meeting with Maros Sefcovis,VP of the European Commission for the Energy Union,following which a decision was made to set up an expert group for drafting a plan of expanding the use of the Euro and the Ruble in mutual trade settlements.


      From the formal/legal point of view the US cannot obstruct the EU’s transition to Euro and Ruble settlements with Russia.Pursuant to the 1976 Jamaica Accords adopted on the US initiative,countries are entitled to choose the currency for their import and export payments.Nevertheless,as the plan moves towards it’s implementation,we anticipate escalating US pressure on the European establishment with a view to co-ercing it to adopt a sanctions policy towards Russia that would be more closely co-ordinated with the US.”

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


        “US pressure on the European establishment with a view to co-ercing it to adopt a sanctions policy towards Russia that would be more closely co-ordinated with the US.”

        The US illegally invaded and destroyed Iraq because Saddam wanted to sell his country’s oil in euros rather than dollars.

        I suppose they realise they can’t do the same to Russia.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          The USA did not invade illegally
          Stop making things up.

          • margaret howard
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Since when is it legal to invade a country, destroy it and murder its leader?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            Because the elected President (or Prime Minister) of a nation has the legal power to direct its armed forces.
            It doesn’t require a referendum.

  18. Dominic
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Please someone, anyone tell Johnson to stop dancing to the tune of the liberal left regarding Trump. It’s pathetic to see the next PM jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon. If this is what to expect from the Eton educated, Oxbridge social liberal then someone pass me the cyanide as I don’t believe I could tolerate another few years of Tory wet politics and the usual avoiding the most important issues that the left and Labour’s client state fight hard to destroy debate upon and then use to slander their enemy

    He needs to understand that the fight is not simply about the EU but about dismantling the entire edifice of the liberal left’s torture chamber

    • bill brown
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink


      The angry expert with no expertise has been giving his personal views again

  19. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Well, it would be nice to know authoritatively from someone where the UK does stand. Are we being pulled into a European army, ever so subtly and underhandedly by our devious and untrustworthy politicians (in the same way as they tried to conceal from the public the true nature of the European project) or will the UK be free to do as it pleases when we leave?

    On the one hand senior UK political figures dismiss the notion of a Euro-army (whilst behind our backs they sign up to joint collaboration) and on the other we read articles from ex-generals warning about the dangers of the UK being sucked into combined European forces.

    I know who I believe and it isn’t our politicians. They have form or if you like a well-founded reputation for ‘shiftiness’.

  20. J Bush
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I suspect the EU ‘army’ will not be one in the ‘traditional sense, in that it is not so much designed to protect Europe, as to protect the EU.

    I am reminded of when they had to downgrade Lisbon to a treaty, but managed to slip in that insidious wee additional footnote to a footnote this army (the one Clegg denied was going to happen) stating it would ‘use whatever force necessary to quell civil unrest’.

    • steve
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      J Bush

      “ would ‘use whatever force necessary to quell civil unrest’.”

      The day the EU orders troops against civilians is the day their stinking corrupt empire comes crashing down.

      Let them dare try.

  21. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Every political theorist I have ever heard of says that defence and law and order are the primary aim of government. Without law and order (Syria?) and without a strong foreign policy, backed by force (EU) people do not listen.
    Our stupid aircraft carrier, our pathetic Police Force, out tiny army, are a national disgrace.
    Speak softly and carry a big stick (Theodore Roosevelt).
    So, after October 31st, I look forward to all this being put into practice – within NATO.

  22. Grist
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    This is one of the many reasons that the vote to “Remain” is meaningless.

    The old saying is “A week is a long time in politics”. Politicians seem to think that three years is merely a blink of an eye.

  23. James Wallace-Dunlop
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    V good points

    The UK must maintain the capacity for autonomous action. I suspect that one of the EU’s plans is to create such interdependence that no single member has ‘all the bits’ needed to act, and so action will be made impossible other than as part of ‘the union’. The UK needs to be able to arm, supply, re-supply, & support forces on land, sea & in the air. Having the same 7.62 or 5.56 ammunition as NATO allies makes sense, being unable to get an essential spare part for a plane without French or German approval does not.

    The EU does not need an army. No one is likely to invade it, and, if they tried, NATO would defend it. So why do Eurocrats want an army?
    A) it is part of their vision of the United States if Europe into which members are subsumed
    B) more money and power for Eurocrats (‘the primary pout pose if the RU is the employment of its staff’)
    C) to be able to use force, and not just the ECJ, to give effect to directives that individual nations dislike. The recent elevation of a Spanish ‘hammer of Catalonia’ politician, and the silence about Macron’s brutality towards yellow vest protesters, show that any EU force will not be used to support people being attacked by member state governments. If it is deployed at all, it will be to crush popular uprisings, and/or to force governments to tow an EU line

    • James1
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      It needs to be said again. The vote was to LEAVE. We will not have left if after 31 October a foreign entity can require us to do anything whatsoever.

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The Estonians and Latvians are quite concerned about the risk of invasion having seen what has happened in the Ukraine and Georgia.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Well,that’s what you are told.When,in the aftermath of Crimea, Sky TV took a camera crew out to the Latvian border and did some local vox pops,they couldn’t find anyone who thought a Russian invasion was likely.

        • Mark
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          I’m sure they find the NATO presence reassuring.

    • steve
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


      “So why do Eurocrats want an army?”

      Agree with your points A, B and C, James…..but there is another motive; When they think their shty little superstate is puffed up sufficiently, they intend to have a crack at Russia.

      Good reason why we should not be involved, especially as we have nuclear weapons.

  24. Prigger
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    In the WWII Pacific War it was a welcome realisation by America that if Japanese forces started their assault on North America they may have chosen some of their forces in invading one or two South American countries to form bridgeheads and also attack and occupy some parts of the west coast of North America actually as a diversion. Ammunition.
    Their ammunition and other armaments did not marry up with guns and ammunition in the Americas. Run out of Japanese ammunition. Stumped. No time to train in a whole forest of varying American weapons and find convenient stockpiles of ammunition.

    A bit different with the common standards of armaments sought by the EU. Each EU nation going over to Russia in any conflict would avail itself of standardised weaponry across Eastern and Western Europe. A Russian dream come true signed off by Germany . Dummkopfs! Or is that the German Establishment’s intention, no, their real intention, not for public viewing?

    • Prigger
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Of course the main supplier of Energy to Germany and to as many EU nation states as possible with the Stop Tap located very far to the east in Russia or further east still is, well, a coincidence let us say. I love Germany. It is so terribly logical.
      Russia’s chess players are logical too, but we know that about Russia

      • Prigger
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        The Game so far.
        Russian Knight to east Ukraine. Russian Knight to Germany . Russian Bishop to Serbia. Russian Bishop to East Slovakia. Pawns to Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Sweden self debilitated.
        And that’s just what we can see.
        They will have an eye or two in the British Parliament or we will have taken the Russians for fools.

        • Prigger
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          And the long standing two pawns. One in Dublin. One in N. Ireland.
          Can’t see a pawn in Scotland. But there should be one. The square is on the board.

  25. Andy
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The Dad’s Army Brigade is up early this morning.

    Seriously. You all need to realise that it is not 1945. It’s not 1918. Despite the best efforts of Brexiteers we are not at war – yet. We are also not one of the world’s main powers anymore.

    We are a small, increasingly irrelevant island off the coast of Europe. We have one aircraft carrier – which has a leak and which carries no aircraft.

    Sure we can do pomp and circumstances and funnily dressed soldiers marching around in silly outfits. But we are now a military also ran. Nobody cares what we think or what we say.

    This does not worry me. I’d personally scrap most of our military and spend the money on sensible things like schools instead. But I know most of you are militaristic. You might get upset by the fact that nobody really cares what Little Britain thinks.

    Reply The aircraft carrier does work with planes! We are getting new F35s which work fine.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.Mr Trump’s comments yesterday suggest that he really,really wants to let Turkey have those F35s(thinking of the billions of $!!) despite the warnings elsewhere that they will be compromised by Turkey’s newly delivered s400s-and that the profile info will get back to the Russians one way or another.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Our most important military input is SBS/SAS/SIS and Five Eyes capability. Also the Royal Marines are a good spearheading commando force, especially combined with REME commandos.

      We don’t need to be a large naval force in the world to make a great contribution to global defence.

      What is concerning is that the pool from which special forces talent can be drawn from is dwindling and the snowflake campaign to get touchy-feely people in the armed forces is likely to put off hard, fighting men – as well as the prosecutions against soldiers.

      This is not our fault. Blame the liberals like yourself who have taken charge and f***** everything up.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Oh, Andy. Andy. Are you acquainted with the words:
      ”It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”?

    • steve
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink


      “You might get upset by the fact that nobody really cares what Little Britain thinks.”

      Actually you’re wrong. The majority of us want nothing to do with Europe, accordingly we don’t give a toss what Europe thinks. Europe is headed for serious trouble and we’d be better off well away from it’s federalist folly.

      “I’d personally scrap most of our military and spend the money on sensible things like schools instead.”

      So you’d have our country completely defenceless then.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post, thank you. The Country needs to understand the mentality of militant remainers. Of course you’re entitled to your view & I’d encourage you to express it – abolish the military, join a federal Europe inc it’s currency & military. Prison for anyone who disagrees (Spain at least seems to be taking this up). Then let’s see how that plays at the polls.

    • steve
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink


      Might I politely ask that you refrain from disrespecting the Home Guard.

      My late father was a highly accomplished Sniper with the Home Guard and was acknowledged for bringing down two He111’s during a low level bombing raid before they dropped their load. Thus potentially saving many lives.

      I recommend you read up a little before making such comments, you’d become acquainted with fact that there was the Home Guard………and then there was the ‘Home Guard’ My father was certainly not the doddery old man portrayed in the BBC version, and was not the kind of person you’d want to bump into after curfew.

      You obviously don’t fully appreciate to whom you owe your freedom.

  26. kzb
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Despite the UK apparently spending more on defence, funnily enough even Italy’s armed forces are larger than ours.
    it gives me no pleasure to say it, but France’s defence capability is about 25% greater than UK’s. Both personnel and hardware.
    Our greater defence budget looks more a reflection of how much more wasteful we are compared to others than anything else. I don’t imagine France’s defence spending is exactly a model of efficiency either, so ours must be grossly inefficient.

  27. Christine
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I believe the EU army, in the first instance, is needed to quell the uprisings that will happen when the population realise how much power the EU has taken from sovereign nations. We have a mainstream media that has been neutered in its ability to report what is going on in the EU with a Government that is complicit in facilitating this power grab. The EU is poised to take over foreign policy, with embassies already purchased around the world. Already it has a seat at the G7, G20 meetings etc. Wants the French seat on the UN security council. A move is already in process to take over tax policy and collection. What is left for sovereign governments? Countries will be little more than county councils as some MPs have expressed a desire for. This new president wants to scrap all the vetoes and press on with a federal Europe. I don’t believe most Remainers know what they voted for. They just have their fingers in their ears and when it’s all too late they will be angry that nobody warned them.

    • hefner
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      What’s the point? We’ll be out on 31 October or soon after. I hope that the anti-EU jeremiads this blog is so fond of will decrease once we are out and that we will see examples of positivity (for a change). After all that’s what this country has voted for. As someone famous (Norman (Lord) Tebbitt) said it will be “On your bike”.

  28. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I watch the EU military developments with much amusement, their new president presided over a farcical German military.
    In truth the actual spending is too low and still being cut, but that is not a concern to the bureaucratc mind who is happily creating all manner of paper divisions – all requiring ever more bureaucracy to support.

    I believe the UK’s military is too small, enlarging it would also help the economy while lessoning the chance of a war such as the Falklands. We are especially reliant on the US for logistics which we should be able to handle ourselves.

    We should continue to support NATO and the key task is ensuring the safety of North sea and eastern Atlantic, we must use the opportunity brexit gives us to avoid tying ourselves to the EU, the previous plans to share equipment with France were an example of where politicians saw the benefit and it was certainly not for defense.

    We also should use our own industry where possible, here I believe the nations communications should be included so we buy only from secure allies.

  29. agricola
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The last European army was that of the Romans. Itself thoroughly international representing a universal system of law, taxation, and civil administration. I discount the Nazi occupation because that is all it was and of no benefit to those who were occupied.

    The EU with it’s currency the Euro has nothing of any substance to support it. It does not have the democratic support of it’s people. They have never been asked. There is no common fiscal control, nor distribution of wealth throughout the EU. Although the common market is popularly assumed it is not a reality. Prices of goods are not standard across the EU. Local rules demand that a car bought in the UK has to be registered at cost to the owner if it is used in Spain for instance. Services are not common throughout the market. Nor incidentally are consumer rights. In this pick and mix EU with quite separate national interests I do not see how you can have an EU military. Whose interests will they serve. That of an undemocratic, totalitarian EU or an individual state with a local problem. The EU are buying the babies clothes before they know it’s sex.

    • steve
      Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink


      “The last European army was that of the Romans.”

      Not necessarily, Agricola.

      Hitler’s armies were not entirely German. Half of France sided with Hitler, Some Dutch fought on Hitler’s side, as did troops from the axis alliances which included Romania, Croatia, and the baltic states who stupidly thought Germany was the winning horse to be backed against Russia.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 19, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Likewise Napoleon’s Grande Armee which invaded Russia was polyglot.

  30. Yorkie
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    JR probably hasn’t got time just now to answer. Anyone can help me with this one?
    But hearing of Boris and his possible Cabinet, is it legal, constitutional and at least theoretically possible for a PM to have a Cabinet composed of non-MPs nor Lords of his own Party or any other … for example doctors, professors, tinker taylor soldier spies who non-politically do the job of Cabinet Ministers?
    A Health Secretary without accused political bias could be a thought. Everyone is fed up of the NHS football match.

    Reply No

    • formula57
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Although of course Harold Wilson had Frank Cousins (never a parliamentarian) in his first Cabinet (until Cousins resigned over policy) and also Patrick Gordon Walker who had lost his seat in the 1964 election and, failing to win a by-election, eventually resigned.

      O/T – I expect to be able to tip you off about Boris’s cabinet choices as I will be writing to him (it is my democratic right!) asking (as is now fashionable) for seven days notice of any appointments he intends.

      • formula57
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Correction – Frank Cousins did become an M.P. at a by-election held whilst he was in the Cabinet.

  31. DaveM
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I could go on for ages about Defence Procurement but it’s my job so I can’t be bothered.

    Defence cooperation is one thing. What’s important though, is not the tool which is defence, it’s control of your own foreign policy. The government can deploy its forces however it wants, but if it’s beholden to another entity’s FP it has lost control of its own defence.

    • Stred
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Having signed up for PESCO, the UK forces will be accepting command by EU officers. This is why it was done by the KitKat method. Boris should unsign it and sack the minister who oversaw the process.

  32. NigelE
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I am fully in favour of military collaboration with the US, Canada, Oz, NZ and perhaps S Africa, Portugal and Norway.

    These countries have a track record of being on the same side as us. Rest of Europe? Hmm?

  33. Fred H
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    a little off topic……..anyone read Rod Liddle’s book ‘The Great Betrayal (Hardback). ?
    Appears to cover much of what we have witnessed since the Ref took place.

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I saw him interviewed by BBC attack dog, Ms Maitlis, a day or so ago and she tried to ambush him with the assistance of a smirking “People’s Vote” chairman. She had to resort to dragging out various quotes from decades ago, ala Marr vs Farage. It showed that they could not rebut the points that he was making.

  34. Andy
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Once you allow an organisation like the EU, which is explicitly anti-democratic, to have and control military force you are on a very slippery slope as history has shown over and over again. We, the UK, should have no truck with this nonsense at all.

    And nor should we allow our Justice system to become entangled with the EUs version. We have Habeas Corpus, the Presumption of Innocence and Trial by Jury for a good reason.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      You seem to be Alternative Andy. The one that speaks sense. Perhaps you should distance yourself somehow from the other!

  35. DaveK
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    This does seem to answer the query regarding the two aircraft carriers. Where are the planes/escorts/manpower coming from? I have always believed that this has been the plan since the early 1990’s and the set up of our armed forces is designed as our contribution to a whole EU force. Otherwise our government(s) are exceptionally incompetent.

  36. Andy
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    House prices in London have had their biggest fall for a decade.

    Anyone going to Europe this summer will now, joyously, get less than a Euro per Pound at some airport exchange bureaus.

    How would you all say Brexit is going?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Its not going at all.

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,


      I am sure there will be a lot of people going to Europe this year and the year after Brexit too. As a well-travelled man, do you really exchange your cash at an airport bureau? Only a twit would do that.

    • Yorkie
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      When we have Brexit, we shall tell you how Brexit is going

    • Edward2
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      You have complained about high house prices stopping you youngsters from finding affordable homes.
      Now you complain when the prices fall a little.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Andy – haven’t you noticed? Brexit hasn’t happened yet.

      And it is not all about your bank balance and cushy lifestyle, or that of other self-interested remoaners who can’t see further than the end of their BMW’s bonnet. A few Euros less is a small price to pay to be free of your EU’s poisonous tentacles – and if you’re all daft enough to exchange money in airports then this only goes to illustrate what short-sighted, flat-earthlings you are.

  37. Paul
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I think that the new President of the EU Commission Mrs Von der Leyon is a charming person and after being the German Defence Minister for a few years I’ m sure she’ll bring a lot of experience especially on military matters to the EU. I’d say a EU army defence group is in the making and only a few years away. It will probably work side by side with NATO on some things and then with UN for some others. But UK will still have a big say about what goes on in the UN and NATO

  38. Bill
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    What is worrying and at the same time, amazing, is that the new Commission President (just elected) is from Germany and so keen on a United States of Europe AND an EU Army, yet claims to support NATO. Hmm.
    As German Defence Minister, even after pressure from Mr Trump, she was unable to meet the requirements of ALL NATO members – a minimum of 2% of GDP on Defence spending. Germany is at 1.36%. Some might call them parasites on those who do pay their way.
    Scarily, Only 7 NATO members actually meet the 2% GDP or greater, Defence budget requirement.
    These ‘heroes’ are, very surprisingly, Greece, Roumania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland plus UK and USA.
    It beggars belief that these ‘smaller’ countries plus those other 21 Nations currently not paying their way, will be able to find extra funding for the proposed new EU Army. Especially when they cannot even manage to maintain the NATO quota.
    I note, with some cynicism, that German has been quite happy for the Americans (plus the other 6) to pay much of their defence costs as though it was a divine right.
    Mr Trump is quite right trying to get a better deal for the American taxpayers and it is a pity that none of our own leaders have ever had the same forcefulness in the past.
    Germany is richer than the UK yet they cannot pay their NATO bill BUT!! heavily indebted Greece can. How and why is that permitted?
    Germany now holds and controls several senior positions within the EU and the Eurozone and now they want an army? Should the whole of Europe, including Russia, be concerned? Again?
    Yet another good reason to get out of the EU and rejoin our old friends in the Commonwealth who we were forced to desert back in the 1970s.
    A new Sun is rising over the old British Empire at long last.

  39. DaveM
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    OT – Mrs May is very worried about the state of politics. Is she so deluded that she doesn’t realise it’s in this state because of her?

    Please John just make her go away!

  40. Edwardm
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    As someone who has clear insight and is on the side of the British people JR you would be well placed to guide our government from within the cabinet. Alas that is not so.

    We need to remove ourselves from many of the EU defence agreements that our Remainer governments have been signing us up to. The EU has different political objectives and cannot be trusted in many ways. We need to remove EU nationals from our defence forces and our chain of command. We need to increase spending on the military and create a fully balanced force with all round capability – including manufacturing ability – not dependent on EU states who have previously shown to be unreliable.
    We also need to get rid of the PC claptrap that is being pushed into the forces, and the hounding of soldiers through our courts. If anyone is taken to court it should be those who decide on the deployment of troops – i.e. government ministers – we’d soon have a statute of limitations then.
    Today Mrs May was asked why RN support ships are being built abroad – she answered with the usual flannel – instead of saying it is a mistake and all such contracts will be brought back to British yards and use British steel. This woman and her ilk cannot be gone soon enough.

  41. Chris S
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Clegg’s ridiculing the prospect of a European Army looks, well, ridiculous today, doesn’t it ?

    The leaders of the 27 have proposed and MEPs have backed, the elitist von der Leyen who is, despite widespread voter dislike of further integration, an avowed proponent of a single European state and the creation of a single European army.

    We can therefore expect a barrage of new legislation designed to move Europe towards the Europhiles’ ultimate objective. Of course, in true Brussels tradition there will be hundreds of small measures, each on their own looking perfectly innocent, but taken together, the rights of member states will gradually be diluted.

    The stumbling block will be the future of the Euro. Von der Leyen and Legarde will have to persuade the Bundesbank, the German Constitutional Court and most of all German taypayers, to back the collectivisation of all EU debt.

    That will be a big ask, given that it will be those German taxpayers who will have to watch helplessly, year after year while many, many billions of their Euros will be sent South to support the Club Med and former Eastern Block economies.

    The future of the whole European project rests upon it.

    Thank goodness we won’t be part of it. Remainers please note : what possible argument could you now deploy to support staying in the EU ?

  42. Original Richard
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin 21/11/2018 :

    “Sovereign nation states must not listen to the will of their citizens when it comes to questions of immigration, borders, or even sovereignty.”

    Mrs. Merkel at the re-signing of the Franco/German Treaty of Aachen 22/01/2019 for military co-operation :

    “As a bulwark against the rising forces of populism and nationalism that are threatening to tip Europe into an era of chaos.”

  43. EastDevonTory
    Posted July 18, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Work is underway under the Parliamentary radar to tie the UK military closer to the EU, Veterans for Britian have been warning about this for several months now, for example:
    I emailed my MP (Hugo Swire) 3 weeks ago and have not even received an acknowledgement never mind a reply.

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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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