Briefings for Britain, July 9, Gwythian Prins
In Robert Bolt’s “A Man for All Seasons,” Thomas More has this famous exchange with his hot-head son-in-law. It’s a warning about the dangers of broad brush (if emotionally satisfying) generalisations, a reminder of the power that lies in command of the details and it cuts both ways. In the EU, mastery of detail has always been the means to capture and subordinate those less obsessive or more light-hearted: il n’y a que texte is the Commission’s battle-cry, sotto voce, of course. The tactic is being used actively and with determination against the UK in relation to defence and security, today. That makes the EU a real and present danger to us, especially in time of war.
Right now, British Ministers who, it appears, are not personally in command of the detail are stating that it is both possible and risk-free to join aspects of the EU Defence Union emerging rapidly from something called PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation). Perhaps they say this because, reasonably enough but sadly unwisely in toxic times, they trust civil servants to be across the detail; and they trust the advice which civil servants whose confirmation bias is overwhelmingly ‘rejoiner’, give them. But PESCO is by no means risk-free to the UK, as I will show.
PESCO is a set of binding commitments made by participating member states which increase joint centralised EU-led political military decision making in the EU. It is a means of creating military unification between member states subordinating the planning, procurement, strategic decision-making, and operational deployment to central organs, which are not under sovereign control.
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