Cameron's orchestrated letter from former defence chiefs is about cost cutting, not security

Published Feb 24, 2016

6867871-large.jpegUKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem has slammed the letter from senior veterans saying the UK would be safer within the EU saying it was "an utter inversion of the facts that Britain is more secure being run from Brussels," adding that "all that letter demonstrates is the government's policy for defence is making it less costly with the eventual aim of joining a combined European army."

"I'm staggered that people who served this country in such a senior capacity in the military think we need an EU Army and our borders controlled by European Commission controlled paramilitary forces in Italy and Greece," he said.

"It's also laughable to say that we could not cooperate militarily with our allies unless we were part of a political structure. The existing cooperation within NATO clearly shows that argument to be valueless."

"What has and will continue to make us less secure is the erosion of our Armed Forces which was undertaken by the coalition's SDSR in 2010 and ridiculous strategies such as Army 2020, the brain child of Gen Sir Nick Carter, who also has serious questions to answer over the strategy he oversaw in Helmand province now that the Afghan army are unable to hold it.

"It's thanks to the EU that we also share details of our critical infrastructure with 27 other countries, making security leaks much more likely. How on earth is that making us safer?

Mr Hookem also pointed to the lack of success of the EU military corps in Mali as an example of the failings of an EU wide force.

"All the French Army seem to be doing in Africa is wasting money," he said. "Given the cuts to the defence budget how can we possibly afford our own troops to be part of that scheme when we have a country to defend and serious problems with recruitment and retention?

"I don't like to think it of people who took the oath to Her Majesty, but there is sadly a trend of career officers 'going native' and becoming part of the Establishment the more time they spend outside of bases and in the Ministry of Defence," he added.

"Defence is expensive and getting other countries to do it for us is clearly a way of cost cutting, but it's a false economy and a dangerous fallacy to say we are safer in the EU," he said.

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