MoD Perm Sec: EU Operationally Irrelevant to UK Security

Before the referendum Downing Street coordinated a letter from 12 former military chiefs to the Telegraph claiming that remaining in the EU was “in our national interest”. It quickly fell apart when it emerged one of the generals hadn’t actually signed it and another had decided to back Leave. The letter argued:

“Will Britain be safer inside the EU or outside it? When we look at the world today, there seems to us only one answer. Within the EU, we are stronger… In a dangerous world, it helps us to safeguard our people, our prosperity and our way of life. We therefore believe strongly that it is in our national interest to remain an EU member.”

11 months later, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Stephen Lovegrove says the EU is operationally irrelevant to Britain’s security. This is an extract from Lovegrove’s interview with the new issue of Civil Service World:

EU membership is operationally irrelevant to the multinational and binational arrangements through which the UK currently insures itself, Lovegrove stresses. And, to demonstrate the primacy of NATO over the EU in the UK’s military relationships, he points to a map showing the flag configurations of recent NATO deployments in Poland and the Baltic states. “These are obviously all European countries, but you will see that of the four lead nations, two of them – Canada and the USA – are not European nations. And, before too long, three of them won’t be.”

Lovegrove adds that there is little administrative burden on the MoD caused by Brexit and that few defence policies are “directly affected”Almost as if the last government got the whole establishment to put their names to a load of Project Fear nonsense…




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