Re: France and the Brexit
posted at 9:31 pm on January 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Erika, the complaint from France about David Cameron’s demands to negotiate a separate deal for the UK’s participation in the EU almost made me spit out my dinner. “[N]obody in Europe can accept that a state can pick and choose [which rules it accepts],” says one Hollande adviser. Perhaps they should read their own history in multi-lateral organizations. For decades, France refused to fully participate in NATO, and refused to allow the US to station strategic weapons — while expecting American defense support, of course:
In 1966, President Charles De Gaulle decided to withdraw France from NATO’s integrated military structure. This reflected the desire for greater military independence, particularly vis-à-vis the United States, and the refusal to integrate France’s nuclear deterrent or accept any form of control over its armed forces.
In practical terms, while France still fully participated in the political instances of the Organization, it was no longer represented on certain committees, for instance, the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group. This decision also led to the removal of French forces from NATO commands and foreign forces from French territory. The stationing of foreign weapons, including nuclear weapons, was also banned. NATO’s political headquarters (based in Paris since 1952), as well as the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe or SHAPE (in Rocquencourt since 1951) moved to Belgium.
Cameron should tell Hollande that he’s just following the De Gaulle Precedent.