With a recalcitrant US President, a resurgent Russia, and the threat of a no-deal Brexit, what is the future of UK-EU defence industrial cooperation in the post-Brexit environment and how might this impact the security of the Continent?

This article was submitted to the UK Defence Journal by Mike Archer, Director in the Public Affairs team at FTI Consulting and former UK Civil Servant @MikeRArcher.

At an annual gathering of French diplomats last week, Emmanuel Macron surmised that, “Europe can no longer entrust its security to the United States alone”. Most analysts agree that the cooling of American support for European defence, which begun far before the arrival of Donald Trump, means that countries like France, Germany and the UK should take greater responsibility for their own – and Europe’s – security. To date, there is little sign that this message is getting through, with spending envelopes barely maintaining inflation parity and new equipment programmes being scaled back or mothballed.

One only has to look at recent reports on the state of Germany’s military to feel a palpable sense of concern about the state of European defence. As the UK Defence Journal reported earlier this year, the Bundeswehr doesn’t have enough serviceable tanks to assume leadership of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force and the Luftwaffe has only thirty percent of its Typhoon aircraft available at any one time.

This might lead one to the conclusion that Europe’s serious military players – especially France and the UK; an alliance stretching back over 100 years – should pool together and enhance their defence cooperation programmes. In places this conclusion appears to be valid. Key programmes from the Lancaster House Treaty continue to be developed, such as the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon. In addition, France was one of the first countries to condemn Russia for its use of chemicals weapons on UK soil in an attempt to murder Sergei Skripal, and earlier this year the UK committed Chinooks and troops to support French operations in Mali.

But, with Brexit hanging like the Sword of Damocles, there appears to be somewhat of a disjoint among political leaders. Only last year French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that, “Brexit will not damage in any way the extremely strong defence cooperation that we have with Britain”. Yet, it seems his President disagrees, with Mr Macron stating that forging a close relationship with the UK should not come, “at the expense of the European Union’s integrity”.

In equal measure, the EU has been stalwart in defending its position to exclude UK firms from future contracts on the Galileo satellite project and restrict UK access to the critical Public Regulated Service (PRS), forcing the UK to consider its own options for a GPS satellite network.

Indeed, this debacle has cast a long shadow over the whole negotiations on the future of UK-EU defence and security cooperation post-Brexit. This could put at risk a number of industrial cooperation programmes that have, over the years, provided the UK and EU members with platforms and equipment that they could not otherwise have produced individually, including – of course – Eurofighter Typhoon.

As the UK has made clear, it is in the best interests of both parties to maintain close cooperation on defence and security matters, both in terms of coordination between authorities on internal and external security, and maintaining close industrial links. The UK’s White Paper on the future relationship states that, “Collaboration on defence and security capabilities will ensure that armed forces remain capable and interoperable, that the best use of defence budgets is made and that support is given to the innovation and global competitiveness of the European defence industrial base”. For the EU’s part, they too have been clear that a strong bilateral relationship on security and defence is an aim of the negotiations. At the EU Institute for Security Studies conference in May this year, Michel Barnier stated that, “I firmly believe that a close partnership is in our mutual interest”.

Tellingly, however, when it comes to industrial collaboration, Mr Barnier was less enthusiastic, saying, “industrial cooperation…in the field of defence, is intertwined with EU rules underpinning the Single Market”. Whilst he seemingly kept the door open on UK participation in European Defence Agency Research and Technology projects, he slammed it firmly shut on Galileo.

This aspect, more than perhaps anything else in the negotiations so far, is haemorrhaging good faith between both sides – with the EU seemingly adamant that the UK, no matter how close a partner they may be, cannot be trusted with security data. Even ardent Europhiles in the UK have greeted this with outrage, with well-known Remain campaigner and Chair of the UK’s Parliament’s Brexit Select Committee – Hilary Benn – saying that the decision to exclude the UK was “frankly insulting”.

To add further insult to injury, in President Macron’s speech he argued that, “Multilateralism is, in effect, going through a major crisis”, whilst at the same time showing no signs of breaching EU solidarity on excluding the UK from these critical defence industrial programmes. Indeed, the European Parliament is seeking to go further and exclude all non-EU countries from the ability to participate in the EU Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). The juxtaposition of these two positions is causing significant frustration in London, with potential consequences for existing bilateral and multilateral relationships across Europe.

The lack of progress in negotiations on defence, coupled with ongoing issues around the future trading relationship, poses a raft of issues for the complex supply chains that operate between European defence firms. Companies like Airbus, MBDA and Leonardo all manufacture products for defence customers across the UK and EU countries, disruption to which could reduce their competitiveness and give succour to international rivals in key export markets.

Is it possible to resolve this impasse? With pragmatism and flexibility on both sides, the answer is yes. Given that the EU shows degrees of flexibility to ‘third countries’ across a number of other areas – for example allowing countries like Argentina, Japan and Ukraine to bid for funding under Horizon2020 – there needs to be a realisation that blocking UK participation, with all the expertise and technological prowess it brings, can only damage European industrial capability. For the UK’s part, accepting that, as a third country, there will be limitations to this participation, particularly around the decision-making process, is equally important. Secondly, EU countries with strong links to UK defence, including Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland, need to speak out more. They need to resist the efforts of some, particularly in the Commission, to punish the UK for leaving the EU, and stand-up to certain Member States who perhaps see an advantage from UK exclusion for their own defence firms.

This is important because the UK’s defence R&D spend represents around 40% of the EU’s total, the UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, boasts the second strongest naval capability in NATO and is the home of some of the world’s leading defence firms. The recent Farnborough International Airshow provided a chance to demonstrate this, as a consortium led by BAE Systems unveiled a plan for the next generation of fighter aircraft. Team Tempest, combining the capabilities of BAE, Rolls Royce, Leonardo, and MBDA, was greeted warmly by gathered dignitaries, especially in comparison to the lukewarm response to a similar announcement at the Paris Airshow by Airbus Defence and Space (Germany) and Dassualt Aviation (France). The Tempest, perhaps, represents an opportunity to reset the dial on UK-EU defence industrial cooperation – but only if all sides demonstrate some humility and accept that they are far stronger together.

As the Brexit negotiations enter a critical phase, political leaders on both sides need to face up to the reality of the damage that would be caused to Europe’s defence industrial base if a sensible agreement cannot be reached. With President Macron’s warning still being digested in Westminster, renewed effort is required to avoid a situation where dogma trumps pragmatism, and where the lives of ordinary citizens and the capabilities of Europe’s armed forces are irreparably damaged.

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expat
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expat

Do the French have memory problems, Concorde and Sepecat Jaguar programs were around before UK joined, cooperation was not an issue then. Also a number of EU countries participate in the F35 as partners (Tier 2) which is a US program. So why is the EU a barrier now for current and future cooperative programs with the UK, the only logical conclusion is that the EU wants to punish the UK.

David Taylor
Guest
David Taylor

It’s only a barrier because our Establishment as a sub-set of the EU Establishment want to make it an issue.

Remember France ran away from the military half of NATO in the 60s when there was a ‘threat’ from the east, or more realistically a threat of ‘war’, whilst blocking our entry into the EEC telling everybody we didn’t belong. They were right! But it was more about Gallic bloody mindedness as they saw us a rival. The West German economic miracle may have been underway but back then a ‘Europe’ lead by France was a instinct probability.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Agree all of a sudden the UK is viewed as being unreliable or a security risk. Or even funnier a risk to EU integrity. Really??
Or more accurately the EU does not want cordial relationships and is simply trying to exclude us. They are afraid of the UK outside of the EU as we are then not under their control and can do what we want to as a sovereign free nation.

Barry Larking
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Barry Larking

Bullseye Mr Bell.I cannot think of as single main player E.U. ‘collaboration’ that went smoothly or did not cost more and take longer to come to fruition. Considering the Germans have stuffed their own pockets with Euro gelt and the French notion of collaboration makes America look self effacing, this article is stretching patience beyond politeness. Certainly we shouldn’t cut off from the rest of the world but, scratching my old head, I can’t remember when we ever did. What I liked about the Tempest initiative was it was bold, confident, soundly based on what we can do now, open… Read more »

Geoff Caruth
Guest
Geoff Caruth

The UK has always conceded more to France than she has received(Remember Concorde with an”e”) and maintained a stubborn independence in Defence matters either not participating(Tornado,Typhoon) or needing to dominate the partnership. The Germans have built their recent economic successes partly on allowing their Defence Forces to collapse. They and other EU forces need to up their game. Whist no fan of Trump, some of the things he does/says make perfect sense. the US has carried the can for too long in covering the failings of other nations in the defence arena. btw on another subject-when will the QE be… Read more »

Julian1
Guest
Julian1

I agree with the last point (if not all the others), as a resident of NJ, I am looking forward to seeing QE moored on the west side at some point in September.

Steven kirkland
Guest

I’m not long back from Krabi Thailand ?? and met an Italian who worked in economics and we had a few beers and chatted over Brexit and I explained to him why I voted to leave, he went off his nut, his hands were everywhere then his rant ended with, no the EU is a big a big family and in the future we’ll have one taxation system. In my unprofessional I was confident that Brexit would be a success but having discussed this with many Europeans I can see why our negotiators are having a difficult time of it… Read more »

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

London and the SE is barely identifiable as British in any meaningful way. Whether its multiculturalism or hard liberal beliefs espoused from the BBC the values and aspirations of that region have drifted far from the rest of us. I now live in Edinburgh and I see a similar drift in Scottish Politics. Britain has typically followed the English legal belief of custom and precedent, even if implemented differently in Scotland. We believe in light touch law, implemented rigorously. We believe in innocent until proven guilty. We believe in one person one vote. We believe in equality in the eyes… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

SE not British……. how very dare you, I assure you places like Worthing, Chichester, Bognor ect are very British, I will have an apology if you please.

Callum
Guest
Callum

Good lad. London’s always been its own not-so-little world, for over a century it was effectively the capital of the world, and it’s still one of the 3 most important cities globally. My personal view is the EU is fundamentally flawed. The Industrial Revolution and subsequent growth happened because people could innovate and trade to get the best results. Compare that to today’s world of strict regulation, dominated by a few large companies that can never be challenged because the strict rules don’t allow them the freedom to try. We need to get away cleanly, look at scrapping so much… Read more »

Steven kirkland
Guest

Don’t want it, voted against it.

I think nicola sturgeon is a solid politician, too bad she couldnt channel all that hatred and divide within her and put it towards making the UK stronger.

Will never vote for SNP

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

Excellent! Bravo!

Rob
Guest
Rob

There has been a massive underestimation in this country of the determination of the EU27 to keep the club alive. They are willing to tarnish relations with us for decades in order to keep the block together and yes that may mean us not participating so much in defence programmes with our European friends in the short to medium term. People on the continent, by and large, feel very different to the majority of Brits about the EU and the idea of European integration. They set the rules of their club so we will have to abide (given our relative… Read more »

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

I agree that people on the continent see the EU differently to us in the UK. However that does not necessarily mean they like the way it is headed. We have a place in Portugal and the people we speak to there don’t see the EU in the same way as we do but they also have their own reservations built on their own experiences and their own fears, culture and economy. They also do not think they are listened to as citizens and feel that the EU sometimes works against them at for the benefit of Germany and France.… Read more »

James
Guest
James

I was talking to a Spanish guy last week who basically said the same thing, he was quite against the EU now as Spain is totally tied to something which doesn’t benefit Spain at all. Hes tired of being ruled over by France/Germany and having to deal with a currency that only benefits one country, Germany.

Riga
Guest
Riga

What majority of Brits? The ones who were allowed and did vote circa 17m or the population? 60 – 70m, some of whom were disbarred from voting and some who are not old enough to vote? Total shambles voted for by geriatrics on death’s row.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

What the hell are you talking about? Not being old enough is not being disbarred. That is what is called not being old enough to take on full legal responsibility. I would bet you damn well wouldn’t argue for the life imprisonment of 16yr olds now would you. As for a majority? A majority of the people who voted and participated in the election. Under the rules setup by a democratically elected Parliament. As every election is governed. If they didn’t want that result they should have campaigned better or not sat on the couch eating, playing video games, and… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Elliott – You and I cross metaphorical swords over a few things but on this (and other matters) we do actually agree and I am pleased we do. What you are witnessing here is the self righteous superiority of those we call ‘Remainers’ or more accurately ‘Remoaners’ because they never stop moaning about not being allowed to remain in the EU. They peddle this false idea that we have 17.4 Mn old age pensioners and no one else voted to Leave when we have some 10 Mn and at best only some 60% voted. Of course no one… Read more »

Graham
Guest
Graham

Look at the username “Riga”. Probably a Russian “bot”!

Noth
Guest
Noth

Erratum: Jean-Yves Le Drian’s role in the current Macron government is as Foreign Minister. He was Defence Minister for the previous governement under François Hollande. Florence Parly is the current MinDef.

BB85
Guest
BB85

I think the EU is overplaying its hand in terms of defense co-operation as this has done more to damage UK industrial capacity over the last 30 years than benefit it. Germany has shown no signs of increasing defense spending in the near term and with an arms race heating up in the far east a tie up with Japan and Australia to develop aircraft and missiles would result in far more guaranteed orders rather than the promise of 100 and an order of 10 that we get so much from the EU after the work share has already been… Read more »

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

I think it is a dangerous game by the EU. If they do cut us off then it will just mean we try harder and also pushes us even closer to the US. The very US defence industry that the EU is trying to compete against! In the end it could well be the EUs defence industry that suffers the most.

It could be that by trying so hard to protect the EU project, they actually set in motion all the elements that might destroy it.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Lee1 – You are so right in those comments. The EU’s sole ‘raison d’etre’ is to look after French agriculture and German exports and so it has built a huge protectionist ring round itself exemplified by the costly ‘EU External Tariff’ we pay on all non – EU imports and then pass on to the EU coffers. Its an indirect EU tax on the UK population. It is so protective it forces wealthy countries like the UK to pay £13 Bn a year to be in its EU Internal Market, aka The Single Market, so it can buy… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Its also really important to remember that this is a negotiation, by there very nature they are not friendly affairs, and lots of negative comments are made pre deal. The EU is the master at fudging together last minute deals that break their own red lines. The reality of no-deal would be a significant blow to both the UK and the EU, in all matters not just defence. Its easy to get offended by people from abroad making negative comments about the UK, and offense can take a long time to abate. What’s most important is to try and keep… Read more »

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

Some good points David. I am a fence sitter as i have not seen a convincing or comprehensive and properly researched article from either side as to which way is better for the UK. From this I am derisive of the oft repeated mantra from May and others that we are carrying out the”Will of the British people!” Such an animal does not nor ever did exist. What we have is a tiny majority for Brexit at a point in time 2 years ago based on the most superficial information-a huge decision and undertaking where even today nobody knows what… Read more »

David Steeper
Guest

Cut them loose. Simple as that. They want our armed forces to defend them while they get on with trying to wreck our economy. Everyone talks about our net contributions. Currently £12.5bn p/a according to that arch euro-sceptic Mr J.C. Juncker. But how much are we spending on defending them ? They can defend against Putin with one hand tied behind their back if they choose too. If not they should find an EU Lukashenko (which wouldn’t be hard) either way is their business. Franckly my dear I don’t give a damn !

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

As Sergei would say ” It’s so simples.” WE decide what we can do and want to do and let the rest of them get on with it. Over the decades we have spent so much wasted time trying to be part of Europe it has cost us dearly and at times we have forgotten what it is we are ultimately trying to achieve, namely the defence of the United Kingdom.

David steeper
Guest

Seconded.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Thirded
If that even exists….?

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

I’ll take your thirded and fourth it Mr Bell!

James
Guest
James

Totally agree! We have put so much into setting the entire ‘Democratic’ EU up, when we make a decision to leave its suddenly not a democracy.

expat
Guest
expat

Who needs the EU, just purchased a UK made Dishwasher from White Knight. First white goods I’ve bought from UK manufacturer in long time, mainly because there wasn’t any. That’s money back to the UK government in Tax and profits staying in the UK. Probably only contributes a few extra pence to the defence budget 🙁

Poiuytrewq
Guest
Poiuytrewq

What a fantastic article, more like this please….

Chris
Guest
Chris

We should always remember who did what in these Brexit ‘negotiations’: It was the EU, not us, that laid out the sequential programme of talks that demanded money first that has cost us some £39 Bn and then fabricated a huge issue in Ireland so the EU could inflame dangerous passions and interfere in the domestic arrangements of the UK. 18 months in and we are only now getting to the trade talks. All contrary to Article 50. It was the EU, not us, that declared the UK ‘persona non grata’ and banned us from Galileo and now owe us… Read more »

Andrew Mark Breen
Guest

Excellent and concise analysis

TC
Guest
TC

Please withdraw the comments “5th column” and “useful idiots” – it is pathetic and insulting to the many patriots who voted remain. It will only sew division between us – this kind of language serves only one aim and that is to further Putin’s agenda. 52/48 – we need a compromise that will somehow unite the majority – not one side rubbing the others noses in it.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) TC – Did I say every remain voter was a ‘5th Columnist’? No I didn’t I was referring to those of a similar intention to those I mentioned who are clearly acting on behalf of the EU by trying to make life as difficult as they can for the duly elected Government in its manifesto pledge to take us out of the EU regardless if that actually damages the UK. In a battle those who would work against you from your own side are ‘5th Columnists’. Like MPs and people who are deliberately acting to damage our negotiating… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

The UK needs to respect the EU position, it can’t be in and out at the same time. The Uk needs to prepare for a future trading relationship based on a free trade agreement, it also needs to pull out of European mainland defence. The UK has to shoulder almost the entire naval burden for NATO against Russia, let the French and Germans handle the land boarder, if other European allies like Poland felt the UK’s contribution was needed and that the French and Germans could not be relied upon they would be vocal supporters of the UK instead of… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

The UK does not have to respect the EUs position. Respect has to be earned and is usually reciprocated . It is the EU that has consistently determined the pace and tone of the negotiations. The UK does not need to shoulder the naval burden on its own to face Russia down. Don’t get me wrong I definetly think the UK should revert back to strong defence posture with enlarged and upgunned Royal Navy. The Russian’s would have to take on the whole of NATO which they cannot do. The EU in terms of French and Germans do not necessarily… Read more »

Peter Shaw
Guest
Peter Shaw

The Eastern block countries such as Poland will not support the UK. They are in too much debt to the German’s who are the puppet masters of Europe. Best thing for the UK to do is pull our troops out of Europe and let the German’s and French defend it against the Russians. We need to get back to being perfidious Albion and pitting one nation against another like we used to do. We should have done that in the first world war by the way instead of all these treaties that ended up dragging us into a war caused… Read more »

Marc
Guest
Marc

Well said.

Derek
Guest
Derek

TH, stop misrepresenting the truth. The incident took place inside French Territorial waters and the RN has no right to intervene, it is a civil matter. For anyone else interested in this story, ignore TH and his feeble propaganda and read The thin pinstriped line which has a clear analysis of the incident.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yep, well said.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Agree it is a civil law enforcement issue.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Derek, don’t rise to it, he’s just trying to iratate and infuriate in equal measure… Not worth responding too

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I do think we need to really sit down and think about what we are offering in regards to defence and if it’s actually in our best interest. Do we really give two hoots about the Russian near abroad and is it in anyway in our interest to defend it. The answer in reality for the UK is no. The EU on the other hand very much does care about the Russian near abroad and have been winding up Russia a treat for years by both influencing nations and NATO to actively bring as much of what was once Russia’s… Read more »

antidote
Guest
antidote

Should NATO fall to bits, which I think it eventually will, I feel we would be better off making a new alliance with the following:

1. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, i.e. other English speaking countries with similar values.
2. Norway.
3. Denmark.
4. The Netherlands.
5. The US (but not to follow it without question).

That’s it.

antidote
Guest
antidote

Maybe not even Denmark and the Netherlands; depends on the fallout from Brexit.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Why not Sweden and Finland included on that list?

antidote
Guest
antidote

Mainly because neither Sweden not Finland are members of NATO now, but also because Finland has a large land border with Russia and lots of history, so why take on more hassle than it’s worth. Plus Sweden and Finland are part of the EU, and an EU military could be formed which woud complicate matters.

Yes, Norway has a land border with Russia, but it’s small, and cooperation with Norway can help greatly in the anti-submarine role among others.

Australia and New Zealand are not members of NATO, but they share linguistic and cultural aspects with us.

keithdwat
Guest
keithdwat

I believe in the future the UK need to work with really three main groups of allies in ascending order of preference 1. The Commonwealth, Canada, australia, NZ and whoever else, Singapore, Malaysia are all itching to make free trade deals with the UK and cannot wait to see closer ties with the Commonwealth, Canadians Conservatives have adopted the policy of CANZUK to create a new personal union between our countries, this is much better than the EU in my opinion, we share so much together, we need to do more as we have in the past! We already have… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

Dear TH, (for some reason this comment wasn’t appearing as a reply, maybe this’ll work? – It’s in response to your ‘flouncing around the world’ comment Oh what a surprise, I would never expect to see you in this comment section. I have nothing against you, I’m just going to address your points in the order they come up: -British ships are not “flouncing around the world in vain attempts to impress”. They are partaking in critical training with allied navies that will allow them to operate with them smoother and better in the future and in the case of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Ben.

Been off here for the last week as was on holiday with no internet access.

A quite magnificent post in my opinion.

TH is easily debunked on many occasions and then runs for the hills rather than debating back.

BRAVO!

Iqbal
Guest
Iqbal

We would have better relations with the EU if we weren’t trying to spy on them on behalf of our true love, Uncle Sam.

Personally, I don’t think defence and security concerns will ever trump economic ones for the EU. If they let us have a common market for goods and services but not peoples movement, it would be the end of the EU. Other countries would want the same and freedom of movement would be over.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Just look at the huge number of British soldiers sailors and airman who paid with their lives to liberate Europe from German expansionist policies twice in 20 years…. The EU is German led and effectively controlled by Berlin, he who holds the purse strings is in control after all. The Germans simply cannot allow us to easily leave the EU and make a success of it, as they may loose control of their project to finally create Germania. These blinkered people who would happily and rather disturbingly) cast democracy aside to have a second EU referendum, simply don’t believe in… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

I agree with your sentiments John, the Euro was created as a vehicle for German export growth. The Deutschmark was becoming too strong, German exports were becoming unviable, German industry was looking like it was in trouble long term. Then a German came up with the idea of the Euro. Result Germanic economic control of Europe, devalued currency, massive boast to German exports and now one of the largest trade surpluses in the world. Germany now has acheived through economic means what they failed to do in 2 world wars. Namely control of Europe. Whatever happens we have to leave… Read more »

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

For a different perspective on this, and bear with me, I not only voted Remain, but am Scottish and an Independence supporter for 46 years. So let’s run a scenario here. I’m now in 2021 and for some unaccountable reason have some senior position in Independent Scotland’s defence and security oversight advisory strategy partnership review thingy whatnot, and I’ve to give my opinion. Who are we going to bond with, who to form defence alliances with, industrial defence ones and all that stuff? Well, I’ve liked the idea of NORDEFCO for years, and goepolitically a northern alliance of sorts makes… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Good luck with that mate. If Scotland does go it alone then that is their choice, not sure the rUK will simply dance to Scotland’s song and do exactly what you want us to do. I think the reverse will be the case. Scotland after all will have split from rUK and caused huge economic and military disruption. Under those circumstances I would hope the rUK will simply remove all support from Scotland and allow you to stand on your own 2 feet. Which apparently is what you want. Oh but wait a minute then Scotland will run to join… Read more »

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

In your usual haste to disrespect Scotland again, I think you missed the point Mr Bell.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

As a side shoot of Dad’s Army’s idea, I have to say that I would love to see the UK linking in with the Nordic countries with some sort of loose trading alliance … I would say ‘Common Market’, but we all know what that leads too!!

I personally feel more in tune with those countries in general, so should the EU implode like the old Soviet Union ……