Claims that Britain being in the EU “keeps us safe” are completely without basis. Nations are more than capable of co-operating on national security without dissolving into the same flawed political union
If the slavishly europhile “Remain” campaigns are putting their best feet forward and leading with their strongest arguments then perhaps there is hope for we eurosceptics after all.
Last month, the farcical launch of Britain Stronger in Europe was tarnished by the somewhat unwilling presence of Lord Stuart Rose as campaign chairman, and then rendered ridiculous by “youth ambassador” June Sarpong’s confused non-endorsement in the press.
And now, with today’s launch of Labour In for Britain, the Labour Party’s own pro-EU campaign group, the europhiles decided to lead with the weakest of all their weak arguments – that leaving the EU would somehow be injurious to Britain’s national security. And they are quite willing to exploit the recent shocking terrorist attacks in Paris to do so.
Alan Johnson, chairman of the Labour In for Britain campaign, writes in the Mail:
We should be in no doubt that these are dangerous times.
The tragic events in Paris, and the government’s recent confirmation that seven terror plots have been foiled in the UK in recent months, have underlined the threat that violent extremism poses to us here at home.
For some, the answer to this is to withdraw from Europe and to try to combat the threats we face on our own.
So no positive vision, then. Just a lot of scaremongering followed by the reassurance that we can avoid being blown up in our favourite clubs and restaurants for the low, low price of the surrender of our democracy, sovereignty and right to self-determination.
Of course, Johnson never explains why leaving the explicitly political construct known as the EU would mean that Britain has to withdraw from Europe the continent, or Europe the home of our friends and allies. But then it is very much in his interest to conflate all of these things and falsely imply that leaving a political union means cutting ourselves off and standing alone in the world.
From a man who is constantly lauded as one of the Labour Party’s finest assets, a fundamentally decent man of irreproachable morals, this is really dirty and opportunistic stuff from Alan Johnson. Apparently there is no moratorium on using a mass killing for political gain when the people taking advantage of our shock and grief are do-gooder left wing types who think they know best for us.
Our campaign will focus on the economic security of British workers – the millions of British jobs that are linked to trade with Europe, and the employment rights that are enshrined in EU law.
But we will also be laying out the ways in which Europe protects British citizens and keeps us safe.
First, working with our European partners provides us the best way to stop would-be terrorists entering Europe [..]
Second, thanks to the European Arrest Warrant, pushed through in 2004 under a Labour government, we are able to more effectively bring would-be terrorists to justice [..]
Finally, it should not be forgotten that Islamist terrorism is not the only threat we face. At a time of deep instability on Europe’s borders, Britain benefits from its ability respond collectively.
The Brexit campaign group Vote Leave are also pushing the security aspect quite hard, so it is unsurprising that the pro-EU groups want to cut them off by claiming that it is their position which will keep Britain safe. Unsurprising, but wrong.
And Johnson concludes:
By sharing intelligence, pooling resources and working together, European countries add value to each others’ efforts to keep the peace. A Brexit would leave us all more vulnerable.
Damningly, it is never explained why all of this co-operation is dependent on Britain remaining part of an ever-tightening political union with its own parliament and courts and government.
Alan Johnson never explains why our intelligence and security services rely on our EU membership every day to protect us from terrorist attacks. Because they don’t. This co-operation – and any other matters of vital national security – would go on regardless of our future relationship with the EU, because that’s how mature democracies work. Europe will not simply go off in a sulk and stop sharing intelligence with us simply because we decide that we no longer want to be just a star on the EU’s flag, because they need our military support and intelligence capabilities far more than we need theirs.
Don’t forget – Britain’s closest military ally and intelligence sharing partner is not any one of the European Union countries, but rather the United States. We host US air bases on our territory, we embed our own armed forces with theirs (and vice versa) on active operations and we buy and sell weapons and equipment to America. On the intelligence front, GCHQ and the NSA work together hand in glove – sometimes too closely, to the extent that they conducted mass surveillance without our knowledge – and are indispensable partners.
The closest of military allies and vital partners in global intelligence sharing – somehow the UK and US are able to maintain this partnership without a joint legislature handing down laws to Congress and Parliament, a judiciary sitting above our own respective Supreme Courts, or a shadow government running a large and expensive bureaucracy on our behalf.
And yet the europhiles will declare with a straight face that we desperately need this cumbersome, irrelevant and antidemocratic sideshow just to be able to ensure military and intelligence sharing co-operation with a country separated from us by just twenty miles English Channel. What nonsense.
So, Alan Johnson: why is it that Britain is able to maintain our closest and most strategic partnership in the world with the United States without ourselves becoming the 51st state, while a lesser degree of co-operation with the other countries of Europe is somehow impossible unless we dissolve ourselves into the same ever-tightening political union with them?
Truly, the security aspect is the weakest of all the pro-EU arguments, and yet it is the one with which Labour chose to lead. And the only possible calculus for doing so must have been the belief that people were still so shocked and traumatised by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that they would be susceptible to scaremongering tactics which openly suggested that a vote against the European Union is a vote for more Paris-style attacks on our own city streets.
That tells you a lot about the intellectual weakness and desperation of pro-EU case and the “Remain” campaign as a whole. But it tells you even more about today’s grasping, manipulative and utterly shameless Labour Party.
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