We should not take chances with se­cu­rity

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION - RF Tay­lor Chel­tenham

✒ MICHAEL James (Echo, June 27) takes a very glib, in­deed in­sult­ing, ap­proach to the D-day veter­ans who de­clared that ‘peace and friend­ship is now threat­ened by Brexit.’

While Mr James is cor­rect that NATO is the bedrock of Europe’s de­fence, the veter­ans are ab­so­lutely cor­rect that many se­cu­rity is­sues, not to men­tion good­will and friend­ship, are un­der threat from a no-deal Brexit.

To take a few ex­am­ples: » The UK could be blocked from the Euro­pean De­fence Fund which is due to spend £11.6bn from 2021-27 on mil­i­tary re­search and pro­cure­ment

» UK par­tic­i­pa­tion in EU op­er­a­tions (UK mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been de­ployed on 25 of the past 35 EU mis­sions), con­sid­ered vi­tal by our mil­i­tary but de­spised by small-minded na­tion­al­ists, would cease.

» Cy­ber se­cu­rity co-op­er­a­tion with the EU, highly im­por­tant ac­cord­ing to UK mil­i­tary and in­tel­li­gence chiefs, be­comes un­cer­tain.

» Joint cour­ses with the French (eg the In­ter Com­mand twice-yearly study course in Nor­mandy in­volv­ing some 250 UK of­fi­cers each time) face dis­rup­tion.

These are only a few ex­am­ples. Play­ing fast and loose with the facts and ig­nor­ing re­al­i­ties has be­come syn­ony­mous with those ad­vo­cat­ing Brexit.

Please do not do this on se­cu­rity, thereby un­der­min­ing UK de­fence and it’s de­pen­dence on the good­will and friend­ship of our Euro­pean neigh­bours.

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