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What Now for Europe? | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

What Now for Europe?

On the 23rd of June, in a shock referendum result, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Sometime in the next couple of months the British government will formally notify the EU that the country will be pulling out, starting a two year countdown that will make the UK an independent nation again.

From a political point of view, I think this is great news. I’m fed up with my country’s laws being made by foreign bureaucrats I didn’t elect and can’t get rid of. Understandably, though, what’s worrying a lot of people is what this means for global security. With terrorism at high levels, and Russia still pushing an assertive foreign policy, how is Britain’s exit from the EU going to impact security throughout the west?

Well, the good news is it won’t, really. Despite the claims made throughout the campaign, the EU doesn’t really have a security and defense capability at all. It certainly has ambitions, and already spends quite a lot on a grandiose headquarters and a handful of “EU Battlegroups” but, in terms of actual capability, there really isn’t any. Anybody remember the Bosnian civil war, when it was proudly announced that “This is the hour of Europe?” I do. I also remember deploying there as part of a US-led NATO mission, because the EU had turned out to be as powerless as it was incompetent. Nothing has changed since then.

EU ExitWill this trigger the formation of an EU army? With the UK out of the picture the only country likely to have serious objections to that is France. The country will now be the only EU member that really has the capability to mount an operation on its own, and it guards its military independence jealously. Most other EU members are keen to cut even more from their defense budgets, though, and an EU military would be one way to do that. Each country could pay less than it did now towards a force that, on paper (but probably not in reality), would be third or fourth in the world. However, the only thing that’s likely to persuade France to join is if they get to be in charge. My guess is that the smaller states will progressively integrate their militaries while France stays out of it but agrees to cooperate closely, perhaps up to adopting common equipment designs (as long as they’re made in France).

When it comes to counter-terrorism, the picture is much clearer: The EU has almost no counter-terrorist capability. Intelligence sharing will not be affected at all by the Brexit, because every EU intelligence agency worth bothering with is in NATO anyway. In any case, the real action happens through the Five Eyes alliance, and the material that generates doesn’t even get shared with the EU now; the Brexit will affect nothing.

So, overall, it looks like the Brexit will have little effect on British, European or US security. The west’s real power is the NATO alliance, with the US armed forces as its backbone, and that isn’t going to change. There are going to be financial and political ripples spreading out for years to come, but we’re no more likely to get invaded or murdered than we were last Wednesday.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Fergus Mason

Fergus Mason grew up in the west of Scotland. After attending university he spent 14 years in the British Army and served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq. Afterwards, he went to Afghanistan as a contractor, where he worked in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Camp Leatherneck. He now writes on a variety of topics including current affairs and military matters.
Fergus Mason

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