The BBC are announcing that today David Cameron is going to claim that the UK leaving the EU would increase risks to peace. The BBC suggested Elgar or Vaughan Williams should be playing. I suspect Holst’s Mars would be the most appropriate.
Turning from the classic music back to the politics. One of the primary responsibilities: probably the prime responsibility of a Prime Minister or the like is maintaining the safety of the population that elected him and as such if true Cameron’s would be a serious claim. Hold on to that thought as I will come back to it.
There are a number of more likely reasons for peace being maintained in Europe, or at least the parts of western Europe which made up the initial EU. Firstly most point to NATO. This was to defend the west against any possible Soviet invasion. Had the Russian tanks ever crossed the German plain, however, although the British would not doubt have fought bravely it would have been the US military which would have stopped them – if it could.
NATO is a fairly convincing force for peace in western Europe though its record in central and eastern Europe and further afield is far more complex and not always terribly impressive – a discussion for another day.
Other things that have kept peace include the fact that democracies very rarely go to war with other democracies.
There is also the simple fact that since the Second World War there has been no state in western Europe which could militarily have invaded another major state even if by some bizarre circumstance it had wanted to. The British military has been the strongest in western Europe but it is very doubtful if even at its zenith from the 1950s to 1970s it could have mounted a convincing attempt to invade France or Germany. The idea it would have wanted to is simply daft.
The whole of Cameron’s pitch today is simply a nonsense. Today is an attempt to appeal to patriotic voters, older voters etc.
However, come back to the point I made at the start. The primary responsibility of a Prime Minister is to protect the country. Cameron is saying that leaving the EU risks peace. This is the same David Cameron who claimed that unless he got a good enough deal from the EU he would recommend Brexit. Therefore he must either be misleading us or else he was willing (from his point of view) to gamble with our security.