European Defence after Brexit - a conversation with Ants Laaneots

Ants Laaneots was commander of the Estonian Defence Forces and is now a member of the Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament.

Theresa May's visit to Poland just before Christmas reminded us of the big realities of Brexit and the EU, realities which are often strenuously ignored.

Some of the reporting has, maybe, been wishful of an adoption by HMG of a more aggressive approach to Brexit nnegotiations in alliance with Poland and Hungary. The EU expanded a dozen years ago to absorb countries with a border with Russia and with unhappy memories of when Russia was under a socialist regime.

The EU's creation myth is that it healed the eternal wound of Europe, the schism between Germans and Franks that happened after Charlemagne's death and has haunted us until our recent deliverance. But the deeper wound of Europe is the division between Catholic Rome (and just recently Lutheran and Protestant) and Orthodox Byzantium (Moscow as it is now called). This is the border that founded Lithuania and Poland and which Poland and the Baltic states still defend. The EU does nothing to heal this wound. Rather it relies on fear of Russia for its authority in its eastern provinces.

People who live East of the Oder love trade but if there is one earthly concern above all others, it is defence.

In the accession referendums people voted for EU membership not so much because they wanted to abandon independence or beg for EU funds but because NATO membership and EU membership were presented as part of the same package, of soft defence and hard defence. As well, of course, as a return to a European home.

Euro-politicians from west of the Oder (and euro-Poles including that unPolish, anti-Polish Pole Tusk) have different priorities, those of creating an empire and the vanity and power that goes with it. They forget our natural and traditional friends in central Europe.

Of course, May's visit to Poland reminds us that the EU is destructive of that European, European home and the biggest threats Poland, Hungary and the others face comes as a result of Merkel's mistake. And they come from a struggle against the EU for the recovery of their judiciary.

We decided to release this video to help the serious student gain an insight into mainstream thinking on defence after Brexit.