Treaty of Lisbon (No. 5)
Ann Winterton (Congleton, Conservative)
I will not, because of the time.
What we can be sure of is that the last Prime Minister lost interest in an integrated European Union defence policy, as he developed a separate foreign policy from the European Union that, together with mistakes made by previous Governments, resulted in the loss of billions of pounds—more than £8 billion, according to my calculations—in cancelled, altered or failed projects, and the provision of equipment unsuited to today's conflicts.
Is it not ironic that the very subject of defence, which could be said to have begun the European Union project, should bring about its eventual downfall? The drift, muddle and confusion over the past few years about where the United Kingdom was going has been brought to a head by the Iraq and Afghan wars, in which, through operational necessity, Britain is heading in a different direction. If our armed forces are to succeed, the United Kingdom must continue to take its own line in regard to military thinking and the procurement of equipment.
In true Monnet fashion, however, while recent events have delayed the advancement of defence integration in the Lisbon treaty, further integration will be implemented in future treaties, for the simple reason that full European integration can never take place while national Governments still hold the competence to control their own armed forces and engage in their own security and foreign policy.