Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister that she would seek to hold a General Election on 8th June, I wanted to use April’s VfB newsletter to outline our position. VfB welcome the opportunity to raise defence as an election issue and our key message is that the UK needs a Brexit for Defence that keeps the nation out of EU defence and procurement union.
The election will provide a chance for us all to question candidates in the media and face to face on their knowledge and intentions for future defence cooperation with the EU. To that end, VfB will shortly publish a list of suggested questions that supporters can use at hustings and other events throughout the short campaign.
VfB have three current concerns that can be raised immediately:
- The UK-EU relationship post-Brexit. Ministers are talking about “deep and meaningful” defence arrangements – why, when this already exists via NATO?
- EU plans to build a ‘defence procurement union’. EU efforts to court UK defence industries and researchers included an EU Commission-sponsored event in Southampton in April. The event was even addressed by civil servants and the highest Royal Navy staff; why is the UK not withdrawing from these plans?
- European Investment Bank funds. UK funds are tied up in EU bodies such as the European Investment Bank which will be used to fund the multi-billion EU Defence Fund and the EU’s ‘Defence Union’ drive. Will the UK pull out of the EIB before UK taxpayer money is used to augment the EU’s military ambitions?
To support your efforts, please use VfB’s excellent reports on EU Defence, found on our website here:
EU Defence Developments in March & April
EU Defence Bonds will fund its Defence Union project.
The EU will fund its military rush with WW2-style ‘Defence Bonds’. Cash is to be offered to EU (and UK) defence firms. Brussels has never lifted a finger in support of NATO funding, but moves mountains now that the funding is for its own EU projects and now that these projects enjoy “decision-making autonomy from NATO”. Where does the UK sit in all this? Ministers have agreed to everything, in spite of the threat to independent UK military decision making.
German leadership candidate “will keep defence spending low“
Ex-EU Parliament chief and leading candidate in German elections, Martin Schulz, wants the USA and UK to continue subsidising German defence. In response, the US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis, replied, “American taxpayers cannot care more about your children than you do.”
Thank you for your continued support; we will be in touch again shortly!
Veterans for Britain