nato-brexitDonald Trump’s feelings on NATO are well-known. The US president believes that European allies aren’t spending enough on defence, and has even gone so far as to suggest that the US may not honour its treaty commitments unless EU countries stump up more cash.

Of course, Trump’s remarks have not come completely out of the blue. In 2011, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates warned that NATO could continue along its current trajectory for much longer. There have been significant defence cuts in European Member States since the end of the Cold War, and the US feels it is currently shouldering a disproportionate amount of the defence burden.

Yet could Brexit be an even bigger threat to NATO than Trump’s ambivalence? We had a comment from Eric suggesting that Brexit negotiations could turn ugly, potentially souring UK relations with other European governments. If that happens, Eric wonders if Britain would be happy sending soldiers to fight for countries such as Poland or the Baltic States while British politicians blame Eastern Europeans for taking jobs.

To get a response, we spoke to Bruno Lété, transatlantic fellow for security and defence at The German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels. How would he respond to Eric?

bruno[…] I think, personally, that one effect of Brexit will be that London will seek to reinforce its role and commitments to NATO. Why? Because this will be the last remaining international institution where London can have direct interaction on a multilateral level with its European allies. So, in that sense, I do believe that Brexit is good for NATO because I anticipate that Britain will try to play a greater role in the transatlantic alliance.

To get another perspective, we also put Eric’s comment to Paul Taylor, Contributing Editor at Politico and former European affairs editor for Reuters. What would he say?

paul-taylorIt’s a very good question. Obviously, if you are living in Poland or the Baltic States, you want a peaceful, harmonious Brexit that firstly preserves the rights and position of workers from your countries who are already living in the UK, and secondly means that those defence links are as close as possible. Now, although Britain is leaving the EU, the prime minister and the whole government have made it very clear they are not leaving Europe.

Britain, I think, will be tempted to overcompensate for leaving the EU by investing more in NATO, and it’s NATO that is in charge of the forward defence of the Baltic States and Poland. If things turn nasty, I think it’s clear that the British will look to work more closely with the Americans. We may see that in the defence industries, in armament production, we may see that also in how they integrate their military; it may be possible they try to integrate more with the US military and less with the European militaries. Does that make a difference for Poland and the Baltic States? Only if America itself shows less interest and less commitment, I think.

Which is potentially worrying for Britain, because US-NATO relations are bumpy at the moment. On this point, we had a comment from Duncan, who suggested that Theresa May is doing her best to shore up the relationship between Donald Trump and NATO. Could that be Britain’s future role?

brunoWell, what we’ve seen so far is that Britain has clearly tried to position itself as an interlocutor between Europe and the United States… When Theresa May visited Donald Trump in Washington last month, she was arguing that the United States is important for NATO, but vice-versa that NATO is important for the United States as well.

So, we do see that the British government is trying to position itself as a neutral party in the transatlantic relationship, at least while the European continent has some concerns about comments made by the new president towards Europe… However, my sense is that the Europeans will want to have their own direct relations with Washington, and won’t feel that they should pass through London to do so.

Finally, what would Paul Taylor say to Duncan’s comment?

paul-taylorDuncan, I’ve never really believed in the ‘bridge’ theory, that Britain will somehow be a bridge between Europe and America. Tony Blair, in his time as prime minister, used that bridge idea before the [second] Gulf War in 2003. And, in fact, Europe split on the Gulf War, with countries like France and Germany and many other continental countries opposing it, while Britain, and some of the Central and Eastern European Member States supported the US invasion of Iraq.

Why don’t I think that Britain is a good bridge? Firstly, because as the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder observed, it tends to be one-way traffic on this bridge. The ‘bridge’ tends to relay what America wants from Europe, not what Europe wants from America. Britain has some influence in Europe, but that influence is going to go down rather than up after Brexit. Britain has little influene in the United States, which is a superpower. Will it have more influence under President Trump, who is very much an ‘America First’ president? That remains to be seen.

So, I doubt that Britain can really play that bridging role. But I think that for its own national reasons Britain will want to put more eggs into the NATO basket, if it can, to compensate for the fact that it’s putting no eggs in the EU basket.

How will Brexit affect NATO? If the Brexit divorce turns ugly, could it weaken the NATO alliance? Will the UK act as a go-between to improve US relations with NATO? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – 7th Army Training Command


118 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. gruppo autonomo

    Well,the great britain did a big mistake,i believe that this decision will change all great britains residentes.It will be change so much even in football[premier league].

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Gruppo Autonomo
      No-one knows if Brexit is or will be a mistake – are you a clairvoyant?

    • SD

      Your name implies you’re some kind of anarchist so it’s debatable if it even makes sense to talk to you but i’l do it regardless. It’s not up to you who aren’t even British to decide the future of Britain, the British people must decide. And they were asked a question and and after years and years of EU membership and debate they said the want to leave the EU. You can like or dislike the decision but you have no right to call it a mistake. They chose a different path and it is their path to chose. Britain is 64 million people and of that England alone makes up 54 million, they will be alright!

    • Bruno J. De Cordier

      Somehow it has to do with as, as the EU, in its present form, has mutated into an economic wing of NATO.

  2. Stefania Portici

    La NATO diciamo che ha garantito la ” pace ” ma qualche volta ha agito per conto di pochi, di interessi che nulla avevano a che fare con il bene comune. E’ probabile che Trump tagli il cordone e sarebbe anche sensato se lo facesse . Io credo che in europa dovremmo avere una difesa comune indipendentemente da cosa farà Trump ma non delegata a questa UE , non mi fido, non mi piace, non siamo padroni neanche di ricostruire le nostre case crollate dal terremoto con i nostri soldi figuriamoci se siamo padroni di evitare guerre per interessi di pochi senza scrupolo ( i soldi per le sciagure naturali , o per l’istruzione, o per la sanità ecc… dicono che non ci sono ma per le guerre magicamente escono fuori , li non gli importa se si sfora il 3% ) . Prima recuperiamo la democrazia politica ed economica di tutti i Paesi europei poi si pensa al passo successivo che è la difesa comune , non prima , secondo me sarebbe fuori controllo , un terribile errore . Non lo sò cosa farà l’Inghilterra NATO “say” that guaranteed “peace” but sometimes acted on behalf of a few, the interests that had nothing to do with the common good of the people. And ‘likely that Trump cuts the cord and it would also make sense if it did. I think we in Europe should have a common matter what Trump will do but not delegated to this EU defense, I do not trust, do not like, we are not masters even to rebuild our houses collapsed in the earthquake with our money let alone if we are masters avoid wars of a few unscrupulous interests (money for natural disasters, or education, or health etc … say there are not but for the wars magically come out, it does not care if you ef 3%). Before we recover political democracy and economic of all European countries then you think about the next step which is the common defense, not before, I think it would be out of control, a terrible mistake. He knows not what will England

    • Stefania Portici

      la UE affama i popoli europei e quando il popolo è affamato non ragiona di testa, ragiona di pancia , è facilmente condizionabile per dargli un falso nemico da combattere , è pericoloso . Ecco perchè dico che prima della difesa comune abbiamo bisogno di recuperare gli strumenti democratici di politica e di economia di tutti i Paesi europei . La difesa comune è DIFESA non guerrafondaia

    • Sean Murphy

      La “difesa comune” costa. E per ora la maggior parte dei membri NATO si sono seduti sugli allori (tanto gli USA coprivano le spese, detto sia da Obama che da Trump).
      Quando Trump taglierà il cordone, inizieranno i guai per tutti quelli che hanno speso soldi nel sociale, perché in un modo o nell’altro dovranno aumentare le spese militari.

      Comunque sono pienamente d’accordo sulla costituzione di un vero esercito europeo (fosse per me anche le forze dell’ordine dovrebbero essere più europee). Ma le differenze linguistiche più che culturali sono un grosso problema.

    • Mario Frontini

      Difesa comune contro chi? Qual’è il nemico da combattere? È davvero necessario inventarsi un ‘nemico’ per giustificare gli ingenti investimenti in spese militari che tra l’altro spesso consistono nell’acquisto di prodotti e tecnologie altrui? E quest ingenti investimenti bellici, incluso il mantenimento di costosissime forze armate superspecializzate, non rappresentano forse un freno allo sviluppo, non si traducono in un ridimensionamento dello stato sociale? Di cosa stiamo parlando? La Nato è semplicemente un poderoso sistema di vincoli che riducono fortemente la sovranità nazionale. Se non è chiaro questo…

    • Stefania Portici

      più che difesa comune forse il mio pensiero voleva dire difesa europea non mi sono espressa benissimo. Un esercito europeo non può esserci senza uno Stato unico europeo mentre una difesa condivisa dagli Stati europei è possibile .In un certo senso condivido il pensiero di Mario Frontini .

    • Stefania Portici

      sia a Sean che a Mario vorrei ricordare che dal 1971 la moneta è slegata dal bene aureo dunque le spese statali possono essere illimitate ( con problemi di inflazione certamente ma meglio un pò di inflazione che disoccupazione ) e non ci sono tagli nel sociale come dice Sean ,i tagli nel sociale li abbiamo ora per scelte politiche non economiche . L’economia va , agisce dove è l’obiettivo politico .

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Stefania Portici
      The fact that your country. Italy (great history, great culture, crap socio-political system ie CORRUPT) has difficulties building houses is nowt to do with NATO.

  3. Stefania Portici

    La NATO diciamo che ha garantito la ” pace ” ma qualche volta ha agito per conto di pochi, di interessi che nulla avevano a che fare con il bene comune. E’ probabile che Trump tagli il cordone e sarebbe anche sensato se lo facesse . Io credo che in europa dovremmo avere una difesa comune indipendentemente da cosa farà Trump ma non delegata a questa UE , non mi fido, non mi piace, non siamo padroni neanche di ricostruire le nostre case crollate dal terremoto con i nostri soldi figuriamoci se siamo padroni di evitare guerre per interessi di pochi senza scrupolo ( i soldi per le sciagure naturali , o per l’istruzione, o per la sanità ecc… dicono che non ci sono ma per le guerre magicamente escono fuori , li non gli importa se si sfora il 3% ) . Prima recuperiamo la democrazia politica ed economica di tutti i Paesi europei poi si pensa al passo successivo che è la difesa comune , non prima , secondo me sarebbe fuori controllo , un terribile errore . Non lo sò cosa farà l’Inghilterra NATO “say” that guaranteed “peace” but sometimes acted on behalf of a few, the interests that had nothing to do with the common good of the people. And ‘likely that Trump cuts the cord and it would also make sense if it did. I think we in Europe should have a common matter what Trump will do but not delegated to this EU defense, I do not trust, do not like, we are not masters even to rebuild our houses collapsed in the earthquake with our money let alone if we are masters avoid wars of a few unscrupulous interests (money for natural disasters, or education, or health etc … say there are not but for the wars magically come out, it does not care if you ef 3%). Before we recover political democracy and economic of all European countries then you think about the next step which is the common defense, not before, I think it would be out of control, a terrible mistake. He knows not what will England

    • Stefania Portici

      la UE affama i popoli europei e quando il popolo è affamato non ragiona di testa, ragiona di pancia , è facilmente condizionabile per dargli un falso nemico da combattere , è pericoloso . Ecco perchè dico che prima della difesa comune abbiamo bisogno di recuperare gli strumenti democratici di politica e di economia di tutti i Paesi europei . La difesa comune è DIFESA non guerrafondaia

    • Sean Murphy

      La “difesa comune” costa. E per ora la maggior parte dei membri NATO si sono seduti sugli allori (tanto gli USA coprivano le spese, detto sia da Obama che da Trump).
      Quando Trump taglierà il cordone, inizieranno i guai per tutti quelli che hanno speso soldi nel sociale, perché in un modo o nell’altro dovranno aumentare le spese militari.

      Comunque sono pienamente d’accordo sulla costituzione di un vero esercito europeo (fosse per me anche le forze dell’ordine dovrebbero essere più europee). Ma le differenze linguistiche più che culturali sono un grosso problema.

    • Mario Frontini

      Difesa comune contro chi? Qual’è il nemico da combattere? È davvero necessario inventarsi un ‘nemico’ per giustificare gli ingenti investimenti in spese militari che tra l’altro spesso consistono nell’acquisto di prodotti e tecnologie altrui? E quest ingenti investimenti bellici, incluso il mantenimento di costosissime forze armate superspecializzate, non rappresentano forse un freno allo sviluppo, non si traducono in un ridimensionamento dello stato sociale? Di cosa stiamo parlando? La Nato è semplicemente un poderoso sistema di vincoli che riducono fortemente la sovranità nazionale. Se non è chiaro questo…

    • Stefania Portici

      più che difesa comune forse il mio pensiero voleva dire difesa europea non mi sono espressa benissimo. Un esercito europeo non può esserci senza uno Stato unico europeo mentre una difesa condivisa dagli Stati europei è possibile .In un certo senso condivido il pensiero di Mario Frontini .

    • Stefania Portici

      sia a Sean che a Mario vorrei ricordare che dal 1971 la moneta è slegata dal bene aureo dunque le spese statali possono essere illimitate ( con problemi di inflazione certamente ma meglio un pò di inflazione che disoccupazione ) e non ci sono tagli nel sociale come dice Sean ,i tagli nel sociale li abbiamo ora per scelte politiche non economiche . L’economia va , agisce dove è l’obiettivo politico .

  4. Peter

    Long term, Ukraine and Russia could replace Canada and the US, so that NATO could develop into the European army – but only after the Kreml compensated the Ukrainians in some form for its interference. Britain would be interested in strong relations to Russia and a stable Europe as well.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Peter, as mentioned by several comments above- Brexit is an issue which is mutual exclusive to NATO issues & should remain so.

      Only rabid EU empire builders- wrongly wish to destroy and replace NATO with something inferior and globally less effective. (A narrow EU nationalistic agenda- driven by EU bureaucrats- or by European voters?) Not for fun is it called: the “NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORG.” Me thinks, Europe prefers to rather spend on social services & free education first.

      Long term, the “pc anti Russia polemic” should change to pave the way for their membership. Imagine, the benefit of sharing “Sevastopol” as “Alliance partners”.

      Stop all political EU grandstanding, creating enemies, trying by stealth to pocket first a bankrupt & corrupt Ukraine. Who needs, finances & benefits from such burden? Enabling JCJ to announce to protect & challenge Russia over the Crimea issue, using the “all for one & one for all” principle? Just to rattle Russia’s Sevastopol?

      Europe, Russia & Canada both share an Atlantic & Arctic Ocean- a much more peaceful way to also arrive in Sevastopol one day.

      Too difficult for diplomats to jump over their own shadow & unyielding EU treaty principles?

    • Peter

      Personally, I doubt that there would have been hundred thousands of expulsed Ukrainians and Georgians, not to speak of all the dead and injured, if Merkel and Sarkozy wouldn’t have objected NATO membership of both countries in 2008. But that’s hypothetic. Having said that I also do not think that the Russian army is a real threat for NATO countries. If Germany would match that crazy 2% goal, it alone would overtake the Russians in military spending…
      Coming back to post-Brexit Britain it sounds quite plausible to me that there would be more British engagement playing world policeman No. 2, especially in its former colonies. I doubt that this would be an internationally welcomed ansatz …

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      * Yes, it is history, but I applaud both Merkel & Sarkozy to have objected admitting these two nations to NATO.
      * The Russian army is always a threat- even Bonaparte & Adolf found out too late. Don’t be fooled by money terms and compare monetary spending only. Who in his right mind wishes to risk WWIII- when birth rate starved Europeans rather choose a ride to destination holiday- instead destination war? Dare & make an estimate how many would perish? The EU’s populus & its fighting men would never recover from such numerical setback.
      * Policeman No2? Why not ask the new US & British administration what they think NATO’s future should look like? It appears something less ferocious and regime change obsessed might be an the cards. Germany has surplus money to pay more than their fair (2%) share um “es zu schaffen”!

    • Peter

      @EU Reform: Did you never ask yourself, why Trump and May both rise their already enormous military spending? Is there any serious threat for them? Please don’t come with terrorism (that should still be a task of police, justice and secret services rather than military).

      On the other hand: Bonaparte and Hitler attacked Russia. Even Trump won’t be that stupid (bad for business). Military confrontation with Russia is no serious option, except for an unrealistic NATO defense situation.

      Concerning the 2%: don’t you think that money spend for refugees is a far better investment than for new killer drones and nukes? Interesting.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      It wont & shouldn’t. After the end of the cold war and its bipolar power distribution (US & USSR), the emergence of China, India and recent EU ambitions (EU army) is challenging the present US’s uni-polar reign and the past Bipolarity.

      The question arises: would it not be better the whole West (NATO) + Russia unites- instead to segregate by moving the world towards Multipolarity (separate US, EU, Russia & other armed forces) where China probably becomes the only superpower to rival the ever ambitious & unbeatable US?

      Multipolarity would make the world more unstable in future- not so? Why not unite & stick to bipolarity- which guaranteed peace since 1945? It wasn’t the EU makings! Or is there a new yet unknown phenomena were everyone will suddenly destroy all their armaments & nukes in an attack of godly enlightenment?

    • Peter

      Why do you think an EU army would be anti-American or only rival the US? That’s highly unlikely. Of course, cooperation would continue.

      But I concur that a future NATO-SCO cooperation would be most beneficial for stability rather than Putins dream of ‘multipolarism’.

      The benefit of the EU predecessor for stability in bipolar Europe was binding (West-)German elites without any further revanchist anti-German government in the rest of Western Europe. That’s a great achievement. Of course, also NATO obligations contributed there. Since, decades passed.

      In your argumentation, 1989 would have been the end of peace in Europe. It wasn’t. Instead, EU members and aspirants continued to peacefully fight for conflict solutions among them while several non-EU countries suffered from ‘ethno’-related wars (Bosnia, Aserbaijan, Russia, etc).

      We shouldn’t be so naive and believe that the achievement of conflict management by elite cooperation would be for granted in any EU-abandoned future Europe!

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Peter, please read my comment carefully (again):

      * “the emergence of China, India and recent EU ambitions (EU army) is challenging the present US’s uni-polar reign and the past Bipolarity.”

      Emphasis on (global) “Polarity” (a “principle”)

      * Isn’t it a fact that the gutless, spiritless “EU concept”, its core bureaucrats & supporters are PROUD (at least somebody in the EU is) to take credit for a peaceful EU6 to 27 so far? But, they possess no patent, are burdened by proof of delivery & plagued by a growing doubt!

      * As if peace & its political arrangement- after so many destructive wars- could only have be achieved the EU way – no other way? Fallacy? A union “legalized” together through treaties, commissions, material incentives, comparative advantages, free movement, mixing extreme cultures, lack of cohesion & loss of sovereignty.

      * Its periphery is growing, while its core is collapsing. It speaks against a traditional European character, its colorful cultural spirit, while patriotism, healthy nationalism is being branded dangerous & scoffed at- being replaced, defined & measured by neo liberal, corporate & other non values.

      * A brilliant paper tiger- tabulating data, statistics, regulating and deregulating, imposing norms and standards, printing money, growing in size but shrinking in substance. A legal super factory- producing laws, regulations & animosity!

      Both of us are left with endless discussions, that are fruitless and frustrating!

    • Peter

      Sorry, I don’t share any of your views.

      ‘United in diversity’ is a very courageous and spirited concept. It includes regional, national and European patriotism, by the way. I don’t see any European branding that dangerous. Dangerous are these identity movements, pegida etc because they want to discriminate certain groups of our societies. They have nothing to do with patriotism.

      Europeans have a lot in common, not only liberté, égalité, fraternité, common history and very close elites communicating in one language, but even the European cultures themselves. India has cultural traditions, languages etc from one federal state to the next that are much more diverse than in Europe. The same is true for China. But they still manage to form a stable common government. Both are no role models for Europe, true. But a common government would be possible in Europe too, no doubt. There is no ‘mixing of extreme cultures’ in Europe as you claim.

      You try to discredit the EU institutions with lot’s of questionable insults, exaggerations and incoherent claims. Do we live in the same EU? What is your main source of information? Did you ever visit one of those institutions you seem to hate so much?

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Finally, harsh EU critique will be labelled EU “hate speech”- impressive- what else?…………… it’s the “end”. Thank you.

    • Peter

      There is a difference between hate and critics. And it’s no problem to hate EU institution. It’s just my impression that you do. ‘Hate speech’ is something completely different, meaning downing single people or a certain group by public insults. You know that, yet you try to victimize yourself. You didn’t use any hate speech as I would understand it, but I am no lawyer. We are just exchanging point of views. Just accept that not everybody shares your opinion. Thank you.

  5. Mirosława Iwanów

    NATO jest przestarzałe i Ameryka nie będzie w nie bez przerwy inwestować , sami muszą dbać o swój poziom. Litwa i Łotwa jak chcą ochrony NATO muszą za tą ochronę płacić..cyt prezydent Trump .Brexit i nie oznacza wycofania się W.Brytanii z NATO . NATO nie jest ostoją pokoju, jest zarzewiem, prowokuje, wytwarza zagrożenie wojną. Sama obecność wojsk NATO w Polsce to jest okupacja tych wojsk naszego kraju za zgodą rządu polskiego i prezydenta. Przed kim mają nas chronić. Wszystkie wyrzutnie rakietowe są skierowane na nasz kraj w razie otwartego konfliktu pozostanie jedynie popiół . Dlaczego Poacy mają się bić za interesy amerykańskie i ZaCHODU

  6. Mirosława Iwanów

    NATO jest przestarzałe i Ameryka nie będzie w nie bez przerwy inwestować , sami muszą dbać o swój poziom. Litwa i Łotwa jak chcą ochrony NATO muszą za tą ochronę płacić..cyt prezydent Trump .Brexit i nie oznacza wycofania się W.Brytanii z NATO . NATO nie jest ostoją pokoju, jest zarzewiem, prowokuje, wytwarza zagrożenie wojną. Sama obecność wojsk NATO w Polsce to jest okupacja tych wojsk naszego kraju za zgodą rządu polskiego i prezydenta. Przed kim mają nas chronić. Wszystkie wyrzutnie rakietowe są skierowane na nasz kraj w razie otwartego konfliktu pozostanie jedynie popiół . Dlaczego Polacy mają się bić za interesy amerykańskie i Zachodu . Politykom tylko chodziło o przesunięcie granic do Ukrainy i kontrolowanie Rosji. Polska musi utrzymywać na swoim terenie to całe NATO. W marcu mają być podjęte ostateczne decyzje o słuszności pobytu tych wojsk NATO w Polsce. ponieważ zaogniają sytuację polityczną mam nadzieję ze zostaną wycofane.

  7. Antonios Forlidas

    NATO is the most dirty criminal organization, which always creates death, disaster, destabilization, terrorism, destruction, refugees .

    • Paul X

      Examples?…Evidence?…

    • Karolina

      This is what happened to Greece in the 1920s, isn’t it?

  8. Monique Taxhet

    NATO should be replaced by a proper EU defence system. Given that NATO is mainly dominated by the US and that the US unfortunately seems to go “backwards” in time (like Brexit) and elect a guy like Trump as president, we should be wary on depending on such organisation. Create a EU defensive system and work in cooperation with what NATO will be after that. It will create another deterrent, independent from Russia, I dependant from the US.

    • João Machado

      More EU? An EU army now? No wonder the anti-EU movement is growing…

    • Monique Taxhet

      Joao Machado, different opinion altogether….the closer the Union, the better.
      We see the world in a totally different way. For me it lies in ever closer cooperation with all our neighbours, for you it lies in the little nation state and total domination by superpowers like the US and the future “big Russian union” if Putin yes his way.
      Your little nation states will have to obey big brothers from West and East, my United version will them to buzz off and leave us in peace.
      Let’s see…..

  9. Phillip Barham

    It’s the eu that needs stopping ie they are assembling a one big super state army and are now looking to buy nukes ??? What’s more dangerous NATO
    or the eu run by people that legallywe can’t get rid of ?????? Brexit is your only door to escape this dictator madness ?????

  10. Lawrence Baron

    There are two issues with Nato now viz Brexit.

    The first is ideological; it is a bit incongruous for the UK to get involved more in Nato given that Nato is there to protect the interests of European countries who also belong to the EU. Thus the UK will be spending money to protect the wealth and well being of the EU without receiving anything in return. No doubt Brexiters and the coup leaders have not considered this.

    Secondly, given that Brexit will affect the wealth and earning power of the UK in the years to come it will have less money to spend on defence rather than more.

    Moreover given the inter connection of the arms industry, industrial development and R&D Britain will have fewer opportunities to get involved in new developments in armaments. Not forgetting that this industry, besides being regarded as important to national security, also represents cutting edge know-how and the Germans for starters do not go into technology transfer.

    At the moment there isn’t even a project to replace the all European Typhoon fighter.

    The bottom line is that Brexit is bad for Britain and will have fewer resources and opportunities to get involved in international defence rather than more opportunities.

  11. Lawrence Baron

    There are two issues with Nato now viz Brexit.

    The first is ideological; it is a bit incongruous for the UK to get involved more in Nato given that Nato is there to protect the interests of European countries who also belong to the EU. Thus the UK will be spending money to protect the wealth and well being of the EU without receiving anything in return. No doubt Brexiters and the coup leaders have not considered this.

    Secondly, given that Brexit will affect the wealth and earning power of the UK in the years to come it will have less money to spend on defence rather than more.

    Moreover given the inter connection of the arms industry, industrial development and R&D Britain will have fewer opportunities to get involved in new developments in armaments. Not forgetting that this industry, besides being regarded as important to national security, also represents cutting edge know-how and the Germans for starters do not go into technology transfer.

    At the moment there isn’t even a project to replace the all European Typhoon fighter.

    The bottom line is that Brexit is bad for Britain and will have fewer resources and opportunities to get involved in international defence rather than more opportunities.

  12. jon allso

    I grew up with the cold war, the Cuban missile crisis,the ban the bomb marches and all through my life I’ve been afraid of the White North Americans and what they might do. I have never felt the slightest fear of either the USSR or Russia. NATO is and always has been USA with the UK as its faithful lapdog

  13. Jan Verloop

    If the EU falls apart the world will be a safer place. EU is, just like the USA “only in it for the money”. The border of the “western world” has gone 1200 km. to the east in the last 30 years and the E.U. is trying to get it even more to the east, preferably to the Russian border. Who do you say is the aggressor?

    • Peter

      Certainly not the EU as it was always open for Russian membership as well. It is every countries own decision whether to join or not in the first place, only afterwards EU criteria (and money) count. Kreml elites were never honestly interested in the common house of Europe. Sadly. Hope that will change after Putin.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      While discussing military power strategies, just a reminder that countries aren’t invited (“open”) to join the EU, but have to apply to “accede” to it. They further must adhere to the “principle of conferral” & many more as set out in the Articles of the EU- “THE TREATIES”.

      Is it realistic to even speculate that a proud mother Russia will “accede” and risk loosing sovereignty and join as a tail-ender No 28+ ruled by JCJ, the ECB & the house of serfs?

      Even Britain (& maybe others in future) couldn’t stomach it! Surely, it has to be a different union to entice Russia and keep the house of Europe together.

    • Peter

      Proudness rarely is a wise adviser, in politics as in everyday life.

  14. Patricia Cotier

    The southern Ireland, people go to northern Ireland, for the shopping far to dear ,in southern Ireland, they voted out, but the EU, dictators that they are, started offering other insentives, to try to get them to have another referendom, which they did, do they love the referendom to, they change their minds,

  15. Alfredo Iannuzzi

    First of all it is not only President Trump opinion that European allies aren’t spending enough on defence. I served in NATO for more than 10 years and this was the constant argument by the US representative at all the Ministerial meetings.
    Brexit has nothing to do with UK participation to the Alliance.

  16. Bruno J. De Cordier

    NATO is essentially anti-European. The great Charles de Gaulle understood this well (which is why, for one, he was deposed in the ‘color revolution’ avant-la-lettre that ‘May’68’ was).

  17. Nicolas Tzolas

    I don’t understand why Europe of half billion people cannot shape up its own defense army. 25 NATO countries out of the total 28 are European. Take away the 3 non European and we have a purely European defense system. Of course we are happy as long as the USA pays the bill, but there are clear signs that this ”philanthropic enterpise” is close to its end. We should not rely excessively on our ”protectors” from beyond the Atlantic. We must slowly turn our NATO alliance into a European Defence System, with the task to protect Europe (land borders, sea borders and airspace) from all threats and also deal with terrorism and illegal immigration.

    • Paul X

      Because Europe does not want to spend money on defense….it’s unpopular with a particularly vocal liberal left element of the electorate and at the end of the day it’s far easier to rely on someone else for your security

  18. Vitaliy Markov

    NATO has outlived its purpose. Europe should have its own defense force, and stop serving American war interests

  19. Karolina

    I didn’t know that they were connected?

  20. Karolina

    What’s Turkey doing in it? Turkey is a threat to the EU.

    • Tamara Jegorov

      No,stupid question – ofcourse we need NATO to protect Europe from Russian occupation and NATO should also protect us from the African refugees invasion.

  21. Alfredo Iannuzzi

    Nothing new. At least from 10 years ago US Delegation to NATO continued blaming European for not participating to the Alliance expenses enough.
    None of European countries contribution is at the level of US one.
    On the other hand US industry was having the most income from NATO Military expenses.
    Something will change if President Trump will (as declared) withdraw US participation to the common defense of Europe. Thus will force European Nations to fill the gap

  22. Peter Salisbury

    Think it will end up NATO being Canada, UK and USA.. let the silly buggers in the EU faff around with “Fred Karno’s Army” – although the States next to Russia will be a wee bit concerned..

  23. Tina Lythe

    Are you for real we will not be safer without eu I suggest you stop yourdrugs

  24. Antonios Forlidas

    NATO is creating imaginary threats and fear following the orders of the stupid american Pentagon , in order to sell weapon and the junky F – 35΄ς to the naive europeans.

  25. Matt Thompson

    Many member states of NATO are also in the EU. The indsutrial and technological capacity of EU members has a direct impact on NATO members to develop and supply equipment; NATO lacks the capacity to ensure the neccessary collaboration on equipment development and procerment? which is why it is done through the EU. The UK leqving the EU has a direct impact on that relationship. And given the UK is getting poorer and potentially smaller, it will have an impact on the countries military capability…..but that was Putins plan all along.

  26. Enric Mestres Girbal

    The NATO shoild be dismanteled and the EU reach a treaty with Rusia…the threats to Europe come from a different source, not from Putin.

  27. Jan Verloop

    The E.U. most go back to its roots and only stimulate trade, in the E.U. and also with other countries.

  28. Elaine Machin

    NATO is a completely separate organisation. The UK was a member of NATO about 20 years before joining the EEC (EU).

  29. Phillip Barham

    Tina Lythe maybe because we are already paying into NATO? A tried and tested but most of all they listen ? You put nukes in the hands of junker or tuske who incidentally take there orders from mad merkel ?who do you think will be in charge of this eu army the 26 country’s or mad Merkel?
    Blair said this is not about trade anymore its about power ? We are looking for a more central government?
    So ours if we had stayed and the other country’s governments would become obsolete?
    Brussels asking for this eu army and now in the market for nukes ?
    This isn’t a growing super state with peace on its mind ?
    To me it seems a power take over bid and all the dangerous consequences that goes with it???

  30. Matt Ireland

    So you don’t see the EU flirting with Ukraine, with an EU army behind it as anyway antagonistic to Russia? I have a Ukrainian friend who is scared $h1tless at this probability, and is so worried about her family back home.

  31. Monique Taxhet

    Matt Ireland, I think that if Ukraine was part of the EU it would safe from Russia. Unless your friend prefers USSR again ?

  32. Phillip Barham

    I researched them ?watch the eu Brussels debates? read? listen to speeches by the likes of tuske Blair junker le pen farahge and many many others ?
    mainly from the horses mouth un like the BBC most are not credible ?

  33. Saul Crucero

    NATO IS THE ONLY BINDING ALLIANCE OF THE DEMOCRATIC LOVING COUNTRIES IN EUROPE AND PREVENT RUSSIA FROM ANNEXING MORE EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. WITH PUTIN LEADING RUSSIA, IT IS HIS AMBITION TO SHORE UP THE GLORIES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION AND BRING IT BACK TO IT’S ORBIT.

  34. Matt Ireland

    You would like to see an EU Vs Russia confrontation then? Personally, I don’t think it would be a pretty outcome for Europe

  35. Johnny Reid

    Germany can’t be bothered to pay their fair share into NATO when America provides 70% of the NATO funding. Are they really going to pay the huge amounts that would be needed to create an equivalent ?
    Would you really want Germany in control of a military force the size of NATO forces given Germany’s history?
    Would you want Germany in control of nukes?
    I know I wouldn’t. Hell No.
    Remember an EU force would belong to Germany.

    • Mark Brock Forester

      Germany owns 3 Trillion war reparations for Polish Goverment

  36. Christopher Kealy

    The UK will stay in NATO, so Brexit shouldn’t make any difference. I see Trump presented Angie a bill for all the money she hasn’t paid into NATO over the years. her excuse is that Germany pays into other military stuff, like EU military stuff. The EU should not be allowed to have any military force. That is what NATO is for.

    • Christopher Kealy

      Talking off the topic a bit, aren’t you ? Stick to the point.

  37. John James

    With Cameron in charge of N A T O we got chances as Boris put his name forward

  38. Martin Green

    Monique Taxhet who would pay for eu army?
    Britain and USA going backwards lol 😜
    Europe under control of unelected leader does that remind you of a couple of men trying that one French and one German?
    You’ll need the eu army to fight the enemies merkel is openly inviting into Europe not other countries

  39. Monique Taxhet

    No Matt Ireland, I would like to see a balancing force in between US and Russia. The first, under Trump, dreaming to dominate the West, the second, under Putin, dreaming of a new USSR.

  40. Monique Taxhet

    Martin Green, the money that goes to finance NATO4, why not use that money in exactly the same way and get independent from NATO. Most countries will not mind increasing contribution on such independent army, and nothing would stand in the way of such EU army to cooperate with what would be left of NATO. Just be able to decide without “big brother” . Or US can get rid of Trump and any Trump like idiots ????
    As for “unelected leaders…..get your information right, rather than parroting tabloid and social media.
    1) council of Europe works on directives
    2) directives go to commission. Commissioners are appointed by their countries’ elected governments
    3)if changes wanted, directives get sent back to council
    4) no changes, directives go to the vote to parliament, MEPs are elected directly by the population of each EU country and can veto if unhappy.
    Can you please tell me which part of the process you think undemocratic and what you would propose to change ? I bet you can’t…lol.
    As for going backwards: Trump wants to close US to the outside world to protect it
    UK, once out of the EU will have taken a step back into the past (mentality of little nation state) and be dependent on big brother graciously offering trade.
    Good luck and good bye:-)

  41. Eugene Efimov

    “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” (с) Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount of Palmerston, 01.03.1848

  42. Steve Wale

    The uk is fully committed to NATO. It’s a pity the rest of Europe does not pay its full share

  43. Martin Wiseman

    It wont for Britain, but for Germany and France they might be finally forced by Trump to pay their fair share.

  44. Janet Anderson

    Nato is an anachronistic set-up and should be disbanded. Personally i don’t want the Americans to be in charge of us!!

  45. John Boulter

    Not at all. NATO IIS NOT PAID FOR BY THE USA BUT BY ALL. Its still needed remember a attack on one is a attack on all . If the ex USSR states which Russia invaded had been members it is doubtful if she would have.

  46. Matt Ireland

    Wouldn’t that be lovely Monique? Unfortunately, an amassed army on the door stop of a disputed territory doesn’t seem too “balancing” to the other side…more likely an act of aggression. Still, after the UK leaves the EU, they will still have France and its nuclear deterrent to keep them safe.

  47. Ian Thomas Bryson

    Brexit will affect everything :-
    The Union
    The NHS
    The Economy
    Employment
    People’s Earnings
    Our Defence Capability
    The Evironment
    Farming
    All Industry
    Etc…..

  48. Monique Taxhet

    Matt Ireland:
    1) the threat towards Russia will be equal to that made by NATO, so no change there.
    But given people like Trump I would feel much better being independent.
    2)I trust the French _(no I’m not French). And I’m pretty sure that if Russia were to “invade” one of the EU countries, the UK would help.:-) it would be in your interest, I guess…lol

  49. Matt Ireland

    Monique:
    1) NATO is not a political block, but a series of counties joined in preventing the East pushing West. The EU is a political block, pushing East with its flirtations with Ukraine. Backed up by a military presence, how do you think Russia would view this?
    2) Nothing against the French, but their deterrent Vs Russia stockpile of weapons? Bows and arrows against the lightning.
    3) What would we gain by getting caught up in an EU/Russia conflict? Would we really do it “for old times sake?” I think we have had enough of being dragged into other counties fights and illegal wars

  50. Monique Taxhet

    Matt Ireland, if Trump gets his way, the UK is out of the EU, the next step,:
    1) Trump already stated the EU was useless
    2) Trump and Putin want the EU to disappear.
    3) apparently you and some other people in the UK want the same.
    Why ?
    Because if that was to happen the very first step of Putin would be to “invade” eastern block countries to “reconquer” USSR. The only thing preventing this at the moment is NATO (military power)and the EU (trade power). Take away NATO, if Mr Trump gets his way, barely little buggar, and the EU will lose its military protection.
    Take the EU down, as both Trump and Putin (and some in the UK) would welcome and the eastern block countries lose their “trade protection”.
    Build a stronger more United EU with an independent military force and Trump (NATO) and Mr. Putin, as well as the UK will just have to live with it. Why? Too risky for both the US and Russia to use “Armageddon” style weapons, so if the EU can defend itself in normal combat without the help of NATO there will be no aggression.
    Basically the forces will be balanced and all will mind their own business as now.

  51. Matt Ireland

    Sorry, Monique…were your numbers in reply to my numbered replies, as if they are, they aren’t making any sense whatsoever. Trump is around for four and a half years…what’s your long term plan? And most importantly, do you have any idea of the size and firepower of the Russian army??? Seriously! You would have to have almost every adult who can hold a gun (not that there would be enough to go round) to stand the slightest of chances! Add to that that the EU is doing great at taking itself down without the intervention of Trump and Putin, and you really have very little in the way of an argument.

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