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"Too often we have been involved in the early stages of clearly integrationist projects, in the vain hope that they will change direction later."

That pretty much describes the British approach to the EU as a whole, at least as it's presented to the British people.

Sam - the article did touch on "EUisation of defence procurement":

"A prime example is the European Defence Agency (Eda). While the Eda is officially about rationalising defence research and development across Europe, there are many who see it as an essential first step towards a single EU defence procurement programme, itself a precursor of an integrated EU defence force.There is nothing wrong with trying to avoid uneconomic research duplication, but the exclusion of Norway and Turkey from the process suggests that it is about EU rather than European defence. The Conservatives want the process widened if we are to continue with it. Likewise, we could not accept a move in this area away from unanimity to qualified majority voting, or an extension of the role of the Commission. We could not continue as part of the Eda in these circumstances."

There was a long defence debate in the House of Commons yesterday, in which LF gave a speech that was well-received across all sides of the house. Worth a look if you get the time.

More bogus euroscepticism from the Party. Fox says, "Britain will never join and EU army".

That isn't how the EU works, and he knows it. We are already part of an EU army being built by stealth - not least through stangling UK forces through EU procurement directives.

This article shows that the Party can say nothing credible about the EU while insisting that our membership cannot be discussed.

More bogus euroscepticism from the Party. Fox says, "Britain will never join an EU army".

That isn't how the EU works, and he knows it. We are already part of an EU army being built by stealth - not least through strangling UK forces through EU procurement directives.

This article shows that the Party can say nothing credible about the EU while insisting that our membership cannot be discussed.

For everyone wanting to celebrate the EU's 50 years of fabulous achievement go to (or write an essay about the EU in 2057!) go to:


Workshops, Seminars and Conferences

The Federal Trust regularly holds Workshops, Seminars and larger conferences on a number of issues related to UK, European and Global Governance.

Europe, the next 50 Years

The Federal Trust, Chatham House, and the European Movement will be hosting the EU 50, a day-long conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

Thursday March 22, 2007, Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1


Geoff Hoon MP, Minister for Europe
H.E. Wolfgang Ischinger, German ambassador
Peter Sutherland, Chairman, BP
Peter Mandelson, EC Commissioner for Trade
Kenneth Clarke MP
Charles Kennedy MP

Panel members:

James Elles MEP
Lord Hannay
Denis MacShane MP
Philip Stephens
Richard Whitman

Download the attendence form here.

Essay Competition
As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Federal Trust will also be sponsoring an essay competition "My vision of Europe in 2057." For more information, click here

If you would like further information about any of these events please contact Jonathan Church at [email protected]

Think I'd rather celebrate the onset of hemroids.

It should be remembered that it was Blair who decided that we should participate in the invasion of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan there was no suggestion that the UK was under any treaty obligation to come to the aid of an ally, a fact which the Americans explicitly acknowledged. The decision was entirely ours - ie Blair's, with the support of a majority of our elected representatives in Parliament. We could have decided not to go into Iraq, just as previously Wilson decided that we would not send troops to Vietnam, but Blair decided otherwise.

On the hand, if there was an EU army and its deployment was governed by qualified majority voting, we would have no choice but to allow British troops to be sent into combat irrespective of any vote in the British Parliament. In fact, after a few decades there would no longer even be any specifically "British" troops for Parliament to control, just men and women who were nominally of British nationality serving in the integrated EU forces under EU control. And although conscription is out of fashion at present, once the EU had established itself as a federation there would no obstacle in principle to our children and grandchildren being conscripted into the federal armed forces.

Article I-10 of the proposed Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe states, here:


"1. Every national of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to national citizenship and shall not replace it.

2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights and be subject to the duties provided for in the Constitution. They shall have:"

and there follows a list of rights, but no list of duties.

However it can be taken for granted that eventually the duties of a citizen of the Union would be found to include service in the Union's armed forces, as required for the defence of the Union against external and internal enemies and for the pursuit of its foreign policy objectives.

Lets remind ourselves, that notwithstanding EU membership and NATO membership, Belgium refused to sell the UK artillery shells in our moment of need.
Belgium, a country that we have twice defended, with great loss of life and gelt, an artificial creation that we supported.
Trust the EU?, you must be joking, its run by the most corrupt politicians in the world and claims to be democratic. The whole shooting match should be consigned to Davy Jones's Locker.
It's time to get out of the Augean Stable, it resents our presence and will not allow itself to be cleaned up, fit for our continuing presence.

European defence is precisely the sort of thing we need to avoid. Freedom of action in international affairs (within treaty obligations) is vital to any state's security, as the Falklands also showed. I'm not the most eurosceptic person on here, but EU defence is something that could push me over if we are forced into it.

The fact that the EU saw the disintegration of Yugoslavia as an opportunity to exercise foreign policy power tells us precisely why CFSP is doomed to fail. It is not about effective foreign policy, it is about EU empire building.

Essay title: "My vision of Europe in 2057".

Hard to see what one could say that hasn't already been set out in "1984".

True Simon, although I was thinking specifically about the costs of choosing expensive, inferior equipment made in Europe over cheaper, superior equipment made in the US/Israel. This is one of the issues that EU Referendum is good on.

Here is what Dr Richard North says on his EU Referendum blog. It's game, set and match against Fox:

We already have joined

Liam Fox writes in The Telegraph today, telling us, "Britain will never join an EU army".

What he does not seem to understand is that this current government has already committed the UK to joining it. In that sense, we already have joined an EU army. Fox is way behind the curve.

Furthermore, the defence establishment is already working to fulfilling that commitment in the name of the the European Security Strategy, which was agreed in its current form in December 2003.

It was then that Member States (including the UK) decided to set themselves a new headline goal reflecting the evolution of the strategic environment and technology. In May 2004, EU defence ministers (including the UK defence minister) adopted the Headline Goal 2010 (HG 2010), which was later endorsed by the European Council held in Brussels on June 2004.

The HG 2010 calls on EU Member States to “be able by 2010 to respond with rapid and decisive action applying a fully coherent approach to the whole spectrum of crisis management operations covered by the Treaty of the European Union.” Among the milestones identified in the 2010 horizon are:

• Establishing a civil-military cell within the European Union Military Staff. The cell should have the capacity to rapidly set-up an operations centre for a particular operation. [currently operational]
• Establishing a European Defence Agency. [operational as of July 2004]
• Implementing EU strategic lift joint coordination. [process initiated in 2004]
• Developing a fully efficient European Airlift Command for those member states who want to be part of the EAC. [process initiated in 2004]
• Completing development of the rapidly deployable EU Battlegroups. [full operational capability reached on 1 January 2007]
• Ensuring the availability of an aircraft carrier with its associated air wing and escort by 2008.
• Improving the performance of all levels of EU operations through appropriate compatibility and network linkage of all communications equipment and assets (terrestrial and space based) by 2010.
• Developing quantitative benchmarks and criteria that national forces declared to the Headline Goal have to meet in the field of deployability and training. [a process for 'scrutinising, evaluating, and assessing' capabilities is presently employed].
This is the core of the integration process and, as the notes affirm (updated last month) that process is continuing, unabated, with the full assent of the UK.

It is all very well, therefore, for little Liam to preach about his response to the European Defence Agency, but there is a lot, lot more to defence integration than this organisation.

What Fox and the rest of his fellow Tory travellers must get their brains around is that a lot of us are better informed than they give us credit for – and we no longer have to rely exclusively on politicians to tell us what is happening. We have this thing called the internet. They may even have heard of it themselves.

Thus, before Dr Fox even begins to convince us that, as part of a Tory government he would arrest the progress of European defence integration, he must convince us that he understands what is going on. And to succeed in that, he needs to do more than write patronising, superficial little pieces in the Torygraph.

This is the sticking point. We will not tolerate being patronised. Engage in an honest, informed debate, or suffer the consequences.

Don't expect sense from little Liam, or should that be ventriloquists dummy Liam. No one in the upper reaches of the "not the conservative party" understands the EU or defence come to that. We are committed by hoony toons to it. We buy equipment from the EU and then get left in the lurch as someone above mentioned, I thought it was rounds for rifles but could be mistaken. Same result though.

Is it possible that some on here are still in denial regarding the aims of the Communist styled EU and it's Military ambitions in the world?

For clarity,we are already part of the Communist styled EU Military Forces.

Is it April 1st, must be a joke!

the aims of the Communist styled EU and it's Military ambitions in the world?

Come now the only purpose of an EU Military Doctrine is not to fight but to create an Industrial Policy for French Defence Contractors

Well put TomTom.

What Balkans crisis? The only crisis I remember is when Blair and Clinton took it into their heads to bomb a modern European city, Belgrade for 71 days. With NATO bombs no less.
They could still be bombing now if the Russians had not dug them out of a hole.

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