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Old 6th May 2017, 18:18   #81 (permalink)
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+1 to almost all of that, hangarshuffle. It looks as if we're in for the hardest of brexits irrespective of whatever anyone in the UK wants. Hope you're wrong about leaving NATO though
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Old 6th May 2017, 21:36   #82 (permalink)
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There is more to NATO than the EU. Albania, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Turkey, United Kingdom.

Then there are countries in the EU not in NATO.
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Old 7th May 2017, 17:28   #83 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Hangarshuffle View Post
Junket is frankly unbelievable in his present petty nastiness. I forgot to mention also our continuing membership of NATO. We will probably do a UDI and leave that particular organization if we suffer the wrath of the EU organization over Brexit....why should we even think about remaining within NATO setting tripwires in Poland and piling in money if we get stiffed? I said this the day after the Brexit vote on here. If we get stiffed over leaving the EU we will leave NATO - I can see it easily happening. I can easily see an opportunistic group or leader taking this up in the near future.
I would have thought the idea of us leaving NATO was ridiculous. NATO has nothing to do with the EU, NATO was formed in 1949, the EU in its current form in 1992. The common market was formed, without the UK, in 1957. De Gaul vetoed our joining in 1963, we joined the common market in 1973. Honestly, the EU has bugger all to do with NATO, the chief overseer of NATO is the USA. Also I get very irritated hearing politicians on the remain side, who would be anathema if let loose with the Defence Budget trying to claim that peace has been maintained since 1945 in Europe thanks to the EU.
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Old 7th May 2017, 20:55   #84 (permalink)
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It comes down to the money. If this bandied about figure of 100 billion euros is even half true, that UK will have to find a massive hit of cash to supply to Europe.. then no way will the right wing element of the Conservative Party, (with a big majority) sanction that. Would be very easy to totally withdraw all our remaining forces back here, as a bargaining chip/cost saver/raspberry. Poland, Estonia.....they would be looking for us then.
I can seriously see it coming. We have an expensive nuclear deterrent which always seems to be being factored in these days.
These are bad unstable times.
Macrons just got in, next Prez of The French Republic.... he's no anglophile. Junkers crowing already like the ****er he is.
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Old 7th May 2017, 21:29   #85 (permalink)
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Also I get very irritated hearing politicians on the remain side, who would be anathema if let loose with the Defence Budget trying to claim that peace has been maintained since 1945 in Europe thanks to the EU.
I assume what maintained peace was the common feeling that there was a great threat to face. One thing I wonder though is that structures seem to get bigger through history villages to cities to city-states to countries etc. It always seems to happen by war. If one chooses for it not to be done in some reasonable, equitable form doesn't that leave war as the only remaining option?

Last edited by t43562; 7th May 2017 at 21:29. Reason: spelling
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Old 7th May 2017, 21:39   #86 (permalink)
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Poland Estonia Latvia Lithuania are the countries that really need to be leaned on by ourselves, and reminded the value of our current membership of NATO, when those said countries start thinking about siding up with the usual suspects in giving us such a very hard time about leaving the EU.

Of course we are militarily no longer the power we were even 15 years ago, and this diminishes our leverage here.
But I hardly see Russia attacking those countries though, anyway. More likely try to destabilise the situation to suit its own aim- a stop to the expansion of the EU into its old satellites. To limit the influence of NATO upon its sphere.

I've continuously worked abroad since I left the RN, and have travelled widely. The attitude of EU/NATO members own citizens fascinates me.
I was heavily harangued by a Croat. The current middle eastern or MENA refugee crisis is entirely the UKs fault, he raged. And now because of this, these very people we are responsible for displacing , we leave the EU under Brexit he said.
We are going to have very few friends left in Europe soon, I fear.

Militarily, if we do ever quit NATO because of European intransience we will have to bite the metaphorical bullet and pull all assets back towards the mainland UK, (whatever that will actually be). Possibly no Scottish bases at all in any capacity. Who will even care about Scotland in the political blue camp? They wont need them and will be missed even less.
ICBM submarines based out of Plymouth (whose constituents will welcome the work and funding). The protector aircraft based out of Culdrose, St Mawgan yet again...
2 carriers out of Portsmouth. The Army will be hammered on savings of course.
A very different world and we are closer to it than we think.
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Old 7th May 2017, 21:52   #87 (permalink)
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When have we ever had many friends in Europe .. we don't need to lean on Poland, they have the choice to make.. and are one of the few European nations to not neglect defence. With good reason
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Old 8th May 2017, 10:23   #88 (permalink)
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The Government have hired an expert war negotiator to help them with the Brexit talks. Interesting move.
Government hires expert negotiator who helped avert nuclear war to advise on Brexit talks | The Independent

SARF my much younger than me Polish friends thought it hilarious and utterly stupid the country had voted for Brexit. They are of an age and time when free travel and working where you want are a matter of fact. I had to remind them that some think otherwise and that coming to the UK is not and never will be an automatic right in the eyes of many in the UK. Where am I going with this....? the point I'm making badly is many in Europe have always taken our membership of NATO for granted...not so any more..the gloves are coming off. Its disastrous for everyone of course, this present trajectory. How we need new bright fair minded statesmen to emerge. The old greys are leading us on to disaster.
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Old 8th May 2017, 10:24   #89 (permalink)
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I don't believe what I'm reading on this thread, who has suggested in even the most cryptic fashion the notion of Britain leaving NATO? And to imagine that leaving the EU may influence this in anyway is to deeply misunderstand the two organizations and how they relate. There have been a number of pro-EU politicians recently who have made highly subjective erroneous comments about the EU having been the preserver of peace since 1945, sitting in TV debates gently expanding their hands and putting the point as if it is plainly obvious. The EU, to reiterate, has had nothing to do with the maintenance of peace anywhere. If you like you could indeed argue (although it wouldn't be fair to hold the EU to account) that the EU came hand in hand with the Balkans conflict. So its existence, in its current form, coincidentally came about as Europe saw violent bloody warfare on its soil for the first time since 1945. NATO is separate, it meets a different requirement and is not European centric necessarily, although the majority of member states are European and its Head Quarters are also in Brussels. Its area of concern is broadly, the Western Hemisphere, North America across the 'Atlantic' to all other member states which stretch across Europe to the edge of Russia and the Middle East, Turkey and the Baltic States for example.

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Old 8th May 2017, 20:37   #90 (permalink)
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Hmmm, sounds like it's a re-run of the referendum that you're after!

I hope hangarshuffle's wrong about leaving NATO. Certainly, I don't see that it follows from his other (IMHO 100% correct) assertion that the EU Commission have a royal shafting in store for us if we let them. It's nothing personal or even anti-British; it's simply necessary to protect The Project from others following suit. It's not enough that our deal be slightly disadvantageous, it must be calamitous! Let's hope our negotiators have a robust Plan B!
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Old 11th May 2017, 07:05   #91 (permalink)
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Well, this is very interesting: Parties agree to meet NATO 2% defence budget target

The Ministry of Defence argues that the NATO figure includes spending outside of the main MOD budget such as war pensions and elements of intelligence spending, but the confusion supports those who accuse the Government of creative accounting and shows the UK is close to the line, whoever has their calculations right.

On Wednesday a group of former senior military personnel wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister to express concerns that the British armed forces are understaffed and under-equipped.

It read: "The armed services are having to seek further very damaging savings in manpower, support and training at a time when the likelihood of combat operations is increasing. These realities of the security situation must be faced."
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Old 11th May 2017, 19:53   #92 (permalink)
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I'm with the pensioners, including pensions and stuff is cooking the books. What else will get reclassified.................. housing and disability for those injured in the line of duty.
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Old 11th May 2017, 20:49   #93 (permalink)
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Call me suspicious, but last year, cadets were finally included in the list of formal defence tasks. Maybe a small part of the budget, but still...
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Old 11th May 2017, 22:51   #94 (permalink)
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Labour's Manifesto on Defence

Well, assuming the copy of the manifesto published in The Spectator is accurate, this is what Labour has to say on Defence. Interestingly, given that they say the first duty if Government is to protect its citizens, this was the penultimate section in a 40/50 page manifesto, behind sport, culture, animal rights etc.


The primary duty of any government is to protect and defend its citizens. We live in a period of growing international tensions. A strong, viable and sustainable defence and security policy must be strategic and evidence led.

A Labour government will order a complete strategic defence review when it comes into office – to assess of the threats facing Britain and the necessary defence requirements.

We will ensure that our Armed Forces are properly equipped and resourced to respond to wide- ranging security challenges. Labour will commit to effective UN peacekeeping, including support for a UN Emergency Peace Service.

As the security threats and challenges we face are not bound by geographic borders, it is vital that as Britain leaves the EU we maintain our close relationship with our European partners. We will continue to work with the EU on a range of operational missions to promote and support global and regional security.

The last Labour government consistently spent above the NATO benchmark of 2% of GDP on defence.

Conservative spending cuts have put Britain’s security at risk, shrinking the army to its smallest size since the Napoleonic wars. The scrapping of Nimrod, HMS Ark Royal and the Harrier jump jets, have weakened our defences and cost British taxpayers millions.

Labour’s commitment to spending at least 2% of GDP on defence will guarantee our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities to fulfil the full range of obligations, and ensure our conventional forces are versatile and able to deploy rapidly in a range of roles.

Labour supports the renewal of the Trident submarine system. But any prime minister should be extremely cautious about ordering the use of weapons of mass destruction which would result in the indiscriminate killing of millions of innocent civilians. As a nuclear armed power, our country has a responsibility to fulfil our international obligations under the Nuclear Non* Proliferation Treaty. Labour will lead multilateral efforts with international partners and the UN to create a nuclear free world.

The UK defence industry is world-leading and Labour will continue to support development and innovation in this sector and ensure that it can continue to rely on a highly skilled workforce. We are committed to a procurement process that supports our steel industry and other manufacturing that provides good quality jobs throughout the supply chain. Labour will publish a Defence Industrial Strategy white paper, including a National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The first duty of any government is to protect its citizens. But we also have a duty to protect our Armed Forces personnel. That’s why we will never send them into harm’s way unless all other options have been exhausted.

Our Armed Forces are suffering from rent rises in services housing, pay restraint, and changes to tax and benefits, which is putting real pressure on service personnel and their families. We will ensure our Armed Forces get the pay and living conditions that their service merits.

Our Armed Service personnel deserve better. Dedicated servicemen and servicewomen are at the heart of our defence policy. Labour will immediately examine recruitment and retention policies in order to stem the exodus that we have seen under the Conservatives, reducing the size of the army from over 100,000 to just 80,000 today. In government we will publish new strategic equality objectives to ensure to ensure our personnel reflects our diverse society.

Service personnel who are injured whilst serving should have prompt access to support and compensation. Our nation owes a duty to all who serve in the Armed Forces and we will ensure that the legal duty owed by Ministry of Defence to all personnel is met in full.

A Labour Government will roll out a Homes Fit For Heroes programme that will insulate the homes of our disabled veterans for free. The scheme will provide disabled veterans appropriate insulation or efficiency measures, from cavity or solid wall insulation, to loft insulation or a boiler upgrade. We will drive up standards in Service Accommodation and take action where private companies have failed to deliver. We will consult with the individual services to give them greater autonomy over their housing choices and we will review the Forces Help to Buy scheme with a view to improving it.
So another SDSR; pay rises all round; procurement based on political vice strategic objectives and recruitment and retention policies centred on equality & diversity targets. Not that any of this matters as the Forces will be put into a glass box and marked up with break glass only when we've run out of all other ideas. But will the Tories be any better? I can't say I feel particularly valued or appropriately resourced under Cameron, May et al.
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Old 12th May 2017, 10:40   #95 (permalink)
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Labour supports the renewal of the Trident submarine system. But any prime minister should be extremely cautious about ordering the use of weapons of mass destruction which would result in the indiscriminate killing of millions of innocent civilians.
This point needs absolute clarification by Corbyn, it's far too important for there to be any doubt. Corbyn is on record as saying he would not authorise the use of nuclear weapons in retaliation, May has given an unequivocal "yes". If Corbyn will not "press the button" (and yes, I know there is no button) then the whole point of it as a deterrent is lost. In those circumstances, better to scrap the whole thing and spend the money elsewhere in defence.
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Old 12th May 2017, 11:01   #96 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
If Corbyn will not "press the button" (and yes, I know there is no button) then the whole point of it as a deterrent is lost. In those circumstances, better to scrap the whole thing and spend the money elsewhere in defence.
Not quite. I agree that if it's known that Corbyn won't press the button the deterrent is not effective; the saving grace is that all that's required to reactivate the deterrent is to replace that one person. If it's dismantled, however, it's very difficult indeed (politically, financially and logistically) to reactivate.
By leaving that possibility open, some voters may see Corbyn as a slightly less risky option than he otherwise would be...

Edit: More generally, clarification of awkward points is not Corbyn's thing; as far as I can see, his modus operandi is be incredibly vague as soon as the debate gets a bit difficult...
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Old 12th May 2017, 14:08   #97 (permalink)
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Letter from this morning's Telegraph if I'm allowed to post it:

SIR – It appears that Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, along with some French officials in the EU administration, are determined to make political and financial capital from Brexit.
They might be reminded of the French withdrawal from Nato’s military arm in 1966. This, at a time of difficult relations with the Soviet Union, required US and Canadian forces, and staff from the international headquarters, to leave France in short order and with no compensation for the money invested in military infrastructure. Moreover, much extra money was then needed to resettle the military in other countries.
France remained a political member of Nato, creating waves when it suited her, while benefiting from the security that forward-based American, British and Canadian armed forces provided within the Nato alliance. A free ride: nice if you can get it.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon

Which naturally brings us to President Johnson asking DeGaulle if his order to remove all US troops from French soil included the dead ones in cemeteries from WW1 and WW2.
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Old 12th May 2017, 18:36   #98 (permalink)
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Is Macron threatening, or promising, to leave NATO?

Is there some relevance to DeGaulle in the 1960s?

He's a bankster. Neither more nor less.

He's certainly not as hard-right as the LePens, but he's no lefty pacifist.
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Old 13th May 2017, 14:13   #99 (permalink)
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Have you any more info on what Sir Michael is on about/source for his concerns?

As I understood it of all the Presidential candidiates Macron and Hamon were the only two firmly of view that France should remain in NATO ( though if I read things correctly Macron is not in favour of further NATO expansion).

La place de la France dans l'OTAN - propositions des candidats à l'élection présidentielle 2017
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Old 13th May 2017, 16:49   #100 (permalink)
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No, wiggy. I think the point he's making is that the EU are demanding, a humongous sum of money from us for daring to leave the EU but when they baled out of NATO they didn't pay a single centime.
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