Defence Specialist Warns Armed Forces Will Be ‘Pawns in Brexit Negotiation Game’ After EU Signs Military Pact


Colonel Richard Kemp warned Breitbart London that the British military will be a “pawn in the Brexit negotiation game” after 23 EU member states signed a joint military pact of which the UK may find herself involved after Brexit.

With Eurocrats hailing it an “historic day”, nearly all European Union member states signed joint military pact the Permanent Structured Cooperation process, or PESCO, which is key to the Defence Union plans set out by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker recently.

Though the United Kingdom is not a signatory, there are strong indications that British officials are pushing for involvement, with Reuters suggesting the UK will join on an “exceptional basis”, providing “substantial funds and expertise”.

Former commander of the British Task Force in Helmand, Afghanistan, Colonel Kemp believes such moves would “create a situation where we have to remain embedded in the EU after Brexit or disentangle from it all.  Either way, it’s deeply problematic.”

Photo credit: WikiCommons

Noting that one of the greater concerns for Europe post-Brexit is the loss of the UK’s military contributions, Col. Kemp said: “The government is using the armed forces as a bargaining chip Brexit negotiations.”

In effect, what the EU will have done is to say, likely in a private discussion if we go along with this, they will allow us to progress and they think we won’t notice or care.

“Armed forces will simply be a pawn in the Brexit negotiation game,” he told Breitbart London.

Reflecting on commemorations for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday last weekend, Col. Kemp remarked: “We’ve been reminded about how serious defence of our country can be,” noting that it is not just our military capacity that the EU is envious of, but that we are prepared to use it.

“The EU will not take decisive military action. They have not the will or desire to use it,” he said.

“Armed forces are being insulted as well as being palmed off to Europe. Extremely dedicated people don’t deserve to be treated as bargaining chips,” he added.

On the detriment to NATO, of which the UK is only one of four EU nations which commit to the 2 per cent GDP defence spending, the former COBRA committee member said PESCO “undermines NATO” as what will be spent on the EU army will not be going to the U.S./European defence union and will result “in a weakening of NATO forces”.

Veterans for Britain spokesman David Banks warned that Britain is not only on the hook for EU spending on defence integration, but actually being entangled in various plans for ad hoc joint headquarters, procurement, and research schemes.

“In a nutshell, we have had six EU Council meetings over the last year where UK officials have agreed various aspects of the Defence Union,” he told reporters.

Also on Monday, Defence Minister Lord Howe reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to European security at a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, saying: “We are leaving the European Union but not Europe… With challenges to our common security becoming more serious, our response must be to work together more closely.”

A government spokesman said: “[PESCO] will be a useful tool to support European security, provided it remains complementary to Nato and encourages Nato-EU cooperation.

“No final decisions have yet been made about whether the UK will participate in Pesco.”

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