I’ve noticed that a lot of Remainers have used the idea that the EU, or its ancestors, has been responsible for a lack of European conflict since World War II.
Now call me old fashioned but I was under the impression that Europe, okay Western Europe, has been kept conflict free due to the actions and existence of NATO rather than the European Coal and Steel Community, or the European Economic Community or even the EU itself.
After World War II Germany was partitioned and shared out like a birthday cake – although one that had been bombed to bits and left in ruins. Part of that partitioning included the presence of military forces from the UK, France and the USA (God Bless Them – I have to put that in just in case someone from America happens upon this piece) acting as both a protection against Soviet invasion and as a way to keep our eyes on the Germans. I suspect that after two world wars the rest of the world was keen to make sure Germany didn’t try for a third.
I think that it was the external military threat posed by the Warsaw Pact AND the military forces, stationed throughout Europe, as well as Germany, that kept Western Europe peaceful. Not the EU.
The EU, and its ancestors, has little or no military might even today. Although that is something the “ever greater union/integration” programme seems aimed at addressing. I understand that a policy document about this very issue is due to be published the day after the UK’s EU Referendum (I think that is just so convenient). So there is obviously a desire in the highest strata of the EU for a bit of military muscle to back up their positions of power.
That leads me to ask who’d be in charge of the EU’s proposed military forces? Which of the EU Presidents would have control? To whom would those military personnel pledge their allegiance?
Whatever the answers are, I find myself mildly concerned.