The Government’s “White Paper” “The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union” (February, 2017) contains a chapter (Number 11, pages 61 to 64) dealing with preserving “UK and European security” and the “upholding of justice” across Europe.
Members of The Peace Party and many others in the UK and across Europe have always known that the European Union and its forerunners have helped to produce a positive peacefulness across the continent for over 70 years. An eager (but fruitless) search has been made in that Chapter for evidence that the United Kingdom will be at least as safe and secure outside the EU as it has been inside it.
It is clear that the Government believes that the safety of the UK population can be provided by weapons and the military (11.1). The Peace Party fears that true safety can never come this way since in time of a war in which the UK would be a belligerent, the country and its peoples would become a target for attack. In such a case, civilian deaths and injuries would be incalculable (to say nothing of the military ones).
True security (11.1 again) can only be achieved by the UK not threatening other groups or nations (and thus making the country a target for any kind of attack) and by working for ways to peacefully resolve conflict.
The co-operation described in 11.1 and 11.2 is acknowledged in the White Paper to work well within the EU. The Peace Party judges that there is no guarantee that the co-operation would work as well with the UK outside the EU without new special arrangements having to be made with former partners.
What a pity that UK and EU officials will have to waste an inordinate amount of time, effort and money organising something which is already in place (11.7).
Paragraphs 11.8, 11.9, 11.10, 11.12, 11.13, 11.14, 11.16, 11.17, and 11.18 promise no change in the view of the Peace Party to current practice; it appears that the UK will be no safer nor more secure outside the EU than within it. This represents a lost opportunity for those in the Peace Party to see a much safer and more secure country by the UK (a) ceasing involvement in wars elsewhere in the world (and thus reducing the possibility of the UK becoming a target for terrorism or, perish the thought, of new wars where the whole country becomes a target in a full-scale war, (b) quitting all military alliances, (c) closing down all weapon-making and associated industries and research, (d) not being involved in any aspect of trade in military equipment of any kind.
It is not said (in 11.11) HOW the “commitment” and the “Addition of Value” to the security of Europe will be delivered after the UK leaves the EU. The Peace Party would fear the growth of military expenditure in manufacturing, research and support of trade in military equipment as well as the expansion of the Military itself, following the pleas of the USA.
Neither is it said in the White Paper HOW the UK will “play” that “leading role” as a global foreign and security policy actor (11.19). The Peace Party fears greater involvement of the UK in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation when it should be arranging to leave it to join countries, like Ireland and Sweden, as neutral players on the world stage.