Tories love to criticise the debate in the Labour Party over Trident, but look what they say themselves. Here’s Philip Hammond:
Yes, he was talking about North Korea. But if having a nuclear weapon make Kim Jong Un a target, then it must also make one of David Cameron.
Still not convinced? Here’s Michael Portillo:
If it isn’t a deterrent, then what do we do when the enemy comes knocking? When does David Cameron (or whoever) decide to press the nuclear button?
It’s a question that was asked in the classic TV comedy Yes, Prime Minister. Faced – by his chief scientific advisor – with the prospect of “salami-slicing” tactics by a foreign aggressor, PM Jim Hacker is asked at which point he will resort to nuclear retaliation. His hesitance prompts the immortal line: “So what is the last resort? Picadilly? Watford Gap service station? The Reform Club?”
Eventually, Hacker admits to his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, that he probably wouldn’t ever use nuclear weapons, and that the UK’s foreign adversaries probably know this for a certainty, provoking yet another immortal response: “Yes, but even though they probably certainly know that you probably wouldn’t, they don’t certainly know that although you probably wouldn’t, there is no probability that you certainly would!”
All of this brings us back to David Cameron and his attempt to enlist the support of Boris Johnson in the EU referendum. Cameron is claiming that he is asserting the UK’s sovereignty over that of the Eurocrats – by making clear that the UK has “gifted” powers to the EU and has the right to withdraw such powers.
What will the EU have to do to force Cameron’s hand? Metaphorically march down Picadilly?
Of course not. He’ll never do it.
Cameron’s silly “renegotiation” of the UK’s place in Europe has shown that he can’t stand up to Brussels.
Knowing that Cameron probably wouldn’t ever take back that part of UK sovereignty that was ceded to the EU, we know that the Eurocrats probably certainly know that he probably wouldn’t, so we can certainly be sure that, if we know Cameron probably wouldn’t, Boris certainly knows it too.
He might look and act like a dopey, strategically-shaved ape, but Boris Johnson is far too intelligent to be fooled.
A plan by David Cameron to win the support of Boris Johnson in the EU referendum by asserting the sovereignty of parliament risks turning into a “pointless” gesture, the former attorney general, Dominic Grieve, has warned.
As the London mayor keeps the Conservative party guessing about his plans, Grieve said that any attempt by an EU national parliament to challenge the primacy of EU law would be thrown out by the European court of justice.
Grieve spoke out after the prime minister told MPs last week that he was prepared to give ground to Johnson’s demand for the government to assert the sovereignty of parliament. The prime minister told Johnson in the House of Commons that he would introduce measures to “put beyond doubt” the sovereignty of parliament.
It is understood that the government is not planning to amend the European Communities Act of 1972, which asserted the primacy of EU law and paved the way for the UK’s accession to the EEC the following year. But the prime minister is prepared to amend other pieces of legislation to make clear – as it did in the European Union Act of 2011 – that the UK parliament had gifted the powers to the EU and was therefore sovereign because it has the right to withdraw such powers.
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