There was a long post earlier this week on the EU referendum blog arguing for a different approach to euroskepticism. I wasn’t altogether convinced, but this section on just one aspect of why Blair-style Europhilia is incompatible with Blair-style Atlanticism is a must-read:
“The damage caused to our armed forces by the European experiment is huge and what is now emerging is that this damage is posing a real threat to our security. In the context of limited budgets, what is spent on equipping out forces for participation in the European Rapid Reaction Force is not available for spending on the real army. Thus do we find that we cannot buy the substantial number of additional helicopters that we need. We cannot buy anything like enough specialist armoured vehicles, we cannot afford specialist guns to protect our installations from mortar attack, and we cannot afford the UAVs or the hugely expensive satellite communications network needed to run them. In short, because of the billions we have already wasted on the European defence project (to say nothing of all the other billions squandered) we are being forced to fight our real wars on the cheap. Because of that, we are in grave danger of losing.”
To understand this basic, undeniable fact is to understand much of the hostility felt by pro-Atlanticist Brits towards Blair and his project.