There has been a lot of misinformation in this referendum. While the Remain campaign have attempted to make European Union membership indistinguishable from European cooperation, it is important to remember that these things are independent. Arrangements which make Britain more secure also make the European Union more secure, and that is why such arrangements will continue after a Brexit.
Our policing and intelligence will continue to benefit from mutually beneficial cooperative programmes run with the EU. Services like Interpol enable the investigation of crimes in many of the world’s states, including both the EU’s members and also countries like the United States. As for intelligence, international agreements like the Five Eyes alliance (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA) will not be affected by a Brexit. It is also important to remember that MI5 and MI6 represent two of the most reputable intelligence agencies in the world.
Cooperation with the European Union will continue after this referendum, regardless of whether we vote Leave or Remain. Our policing and intelligence services will remain some of the best in the world, regardless of whether we vote Leave or Remain. The only distinguishable difference that I can see between the two options is that if we Leave the European Union, we gain a significant amount of money to invest in better policing and intelligence. Money which is currently spent on our net contribution to the EU’s budget.
It is also disingenuous to suggest that the European Union has been the cause of peace in Europe in the last seven decades. When you consider the facts – a) since World War Two most of Europe has been in a military alliance (NATO); b) there have been no major powers on the European mainland (West Germany and then Germany have had no military to speak of, and France and Britain have never looked likely to declare war on one another); and c) the balance of power shifted away from Europe and to the USA and USSR – then it is clear that there are far bigger reasons for peace in Europe than the EU.
As for peace, we have always been a strong member of NATO, and will continue to be one post-Brexit. We have always been a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and will continue to be one post-Brexit (hence the word ‘permanent’). Those are the two major organisations where we need to be at the table to guarantee our peace – the largest military partnership and the body that legitimatises wars. The only risk to those two memberships lies with membership of the European Union.
As a member of the EU, we are committed to a project whose (unelected) Commissioners are discussing the benefits of an EU Army, with a central command structure. That would inhibit our ability to be a part of NATO and help our NATO allies. The European Union is an observer state at the United Nations. What that means is that it is free to participate on our behalf at a range of summits and on a host of international bodies. It is also a firm indicator of its statist ambitions – none of the world’s other ‘trading blocs’ feel the need to sit at the UN – and those ambitions risk making our permanent seat at the Security Council a little less permanent.
War and Armageddon will not break out on June 24th if Britain votes Leave. We will continue to be a world power in terms of intelligence and policing – the EU will continue cooperating with us, rather than shunning the opportunity to get access to some of the best intelligence information in the world. Peace will continue to be guaranteed by NATO and by the United Nations.
We do not need the EU to make Britain secure. Cooperation and EU membership are not the same thing. On June 23rd, say yes to cooperation, but no to the European Union.
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