LibLink: Lord Wallace – EU membership is essential for Britain’s national security

European FlagWriting on the European Movement UK blog, Lord (William) Wallace has some interesting thoughts on the importance of European cooperation to Britain’s strategic and security interests.

Here’s a snippet:

The 2010 National Security Strategy stood out from its predecessors by its inclusion of a number of non-military threats among the most serious it sees as facing Britain: global epidemics, organised crime and cross-border terrorism , the impact of climate change, and cyber-attack. The European Union is an important player in international action to counter these threats. Europol, which Europhobes want Britain to leave, now works on cyber-crime as well as organised criminal networks and counter-terrorism. Exit from the EU would weaken British security against these growing threats, Liberal Democrats insist. But Eurosceptics consider the re-establishment of political sovereignty more important than accepting the advantages of international cooperation.

European integration never was entirely about economics. Edward Heath and Sir Alec Douglas Home spelt out in the debates on UK accession that membership had implications for foreign policy and defence as well as for trade and regulation. Exploratory talks on UK-French cooperation on defence, including nuclear deterrence, were held in 1971-2. Enlargement to the former Warsaw Pact states of Eastern Europe, since the end of the Cold War, has given those states prosperity and stability, reinforced by accession to NATO – and allowed Britain to cut its defence spending in half over the past 25 years. The contrast between Polish democracy, rule of law and economic growth and the corrupt stagnation within Ukraine has acted as a magnet pulling Ukrainian hopes towards the EU. Yet Europhobe commentary now attacks ‘EU expansionism’ as having provoked the Ukrainian crisis, depicting Ukraine as a far way country of which we know nothing that lies naturally with the Russian sphere of influence.

You can read the piece in full here.

* Nick Thornsby is a day editor at Lib Dem Voice.

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  • Malcolm Todd 15th May '14 - 11:04am

    Interesting juxtaposition. Roger Roberts writes on “We must unite against the scaremongering of the far right.” — immediately followed by this piece on “EU membership is essential for Britain’s national security”.

    Could be the far right aren’t the only ones capable of scaremongering.


    Mainstream parties let voters down when they don’t even put up candidates
    Are the Liberal Democrats still a mainstream political party?
    A look at the lists of candidates nominated for council elections in the West Midlands would suggest not.

    They have only managed to put someone up to stand for them in just over a quarter of the seats up for grabs in the Black Country, Cannock Chase and Wyre

    Need we say more?

    Someone should be asking these questions instead of these silly statements about the EEC etc.

  • Richard Dean 15th May '14 - 1:56pm

    Nothing in politics is “essential”. We’d still have NATO. We’d still have the UN. We’d still have cooperation on terrorism. We’d still have our own police, security, and armed forces. And the right would say, we still have democratic control over our own forces.

    It’s not that it’s essential to be in the EU. It’s that it’s likely to be a whole lot better to be in.

  • Lawrence Fullick 15th May '14 - 4:46pm

    I think this is William not Jim.

  • Nick T Nick Thornsby 15th May '14 - 6:27pm

    Lawrence – you’re quite right. My mistake. Now corrected. Thanks

  • Michael Parsons 20th May '14 - 1:02am

    To suggest that the Ukraine is poor because it is put of the EU when we have Greece, Cyprus, Portugal etc. inside is farcical; and to suggest that the cold war has ended when US/NATO are surrounding Russia with military bases is pretty far-fetched; and to suggest that as Ukraine under the proposed EU/IMF bail-put conditions would prosper amounts to deception, I suggest. And to suggest that withdrawal rom EU is a right-wing plot would show the ignorance of radical criticism one finds too often in liberal circles – see if you doubt that. As to all this global airstrike-democracy stuff one has only to look at the results in Libya, Iraq, the anti-Iran sanctions etc.. as US oil companies sabotage gas-and oil-competition round the world. One can only shudder at the consequences if the multi-billionaires who dominate US Congress ever managed to use the EU/NATO in Ukraine to break in to Russia for the Big Grab.

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