Theresa May’s Withdrawal Treaty would require Britain to comply with EU defence directives and therefore with the European Court of Justice, which would supervise the treaty’s implementation.
It would keep the country signed up to the EU budgets for defence and weapons procurement, giving the EU control over large areas of our defence decision-making and over our industrial future.
The detail of our proposed subordination is revealing. Under Article 156 during the transition period Britain would have to pay its contribution to all EU defence structures and agencies but would have no say in the policies pursued.
It would mean EU control over vital national security – and, almost unbelievably – give the EU powers it did not even have before the vote to leave.
The Political Declaration agreed by the EU and the government calls for “a broad, comprehensive and balanced security partnership” (Article 80). Its Part III envisages a Framework Participation Agreement.
Article 104 says that the Parties agree on “United Kingdom collaboration in relevant current and future projects of the European Defence Agency (EDA) through an Administration Arrangement; the participation of eligible United Kingdom entities in collaborative defence projects bringing together Union entities supported by the European Defence Fund (EDF): and the United Kingdom’s collaboration in projects in the framework of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), where invited to participate on an exceptional basis by the Council of the European Union in PESCO format.”
The Declaration’s Part IV, Institutional and Other Horizontal Arrangements, Article 120, says, “The future relationship should be based on an overarching institutional framework …”
• Related article: Who voted to hand over the army to the EU?