Thursday, August 07, 2008

So the rest of the world has finally caught up with the European Gendarmerie Force, have they?

The plans are based on the idea that the EU can do better than national governments with the report adding: "It appears that this sector cannot be managed politically by individual member states." It is also suggests that the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), which currently only involves France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, should become an EU body. The proposal will step up pressure on the UK to allow the deployment of armed foreign police officers in Britain during "crisis" situations, including public order disturbances at international summits.

Well done. Only a couple of years behind Better Off Outers. I do hope David Rennie, formerly of the Telegraph, will apologise for his rant in which he attacked Torquil Dick Erikson's words in the Sunday Express as, and I paraphrase, 'scaremongering'. Admittedly the article was only in E Shite Sharp magazine and I read it when it was circulated at the Fabian Society event I went along to with DK, where Nigel Farage was having to sit amongst airheads like Margot Wallstrom and Polly Toynbee.

From the 4th February 2008

Lord Pearson of Rannoch (UKIP) asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the European Union Gendarmerie Force will assist with the 2012 Olympic Games in the United Kingdom; and what role they foresee for this force in the United Kingdom.

Lord West of Spithead (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office; Labour)
The Government have not received any proposals on the use of non-UK police forces in support of security of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will consider any such proposals carefully. Policing in the UK is carried out with the consent and co-operation of the community. We would not want to interfere with these long-established policing traditions of which we are justly proud.

From the 19th February 2008
Lord Pearson of Rannoch (UKIP) asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the proposed strength of the European Gendarmerie Force; what is its intended purpose; how is it being financed; and how much will it cost.

Lord Triesman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Labour)

The European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) is an initiative of five EU member states (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain). The UK is not a member of the EGF and therefore does not have detailed information about the force.

I understand that the purpose of the EGF is to make available rapidly deployable paramilitary police units able to perform a variety of policing roles, primarily in support of EU crisis management operations. It has a permanent headquarters (HQ) of 30 staff based at the Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units, in Vicenza, Italy. The HQ consists of a multinational core that can be reinforced as needed by agreement of the contributing states.

Apart from the HQ, the EGF is not a standing force, but will be generated and deployed on an ad hoc basis as needed. It is designed to be capable of deploying a police task force of up to 800 police officers, including a rapidly deployed HQ in the field, within 30 days. The police units that will form the EGF are drawn from existing national police resources from the five participating states; current commitments suggest that the EGF could reach a total nominal strength of 2,300.

I do not have details of how the EGF will be financed. Costs would presumably depend on the nature of any EGF deployment. To date, the force has not deployed in a live operation.

From the 14th May 2008, debate on the Lisbon Treaty:
Lord Hannay of Chiswick (Crossbench)

The hour is late, and I hesitate to suggest that the noble Lord is wasting police time, but that is what he is doing. This body is designed, as he read out, for crisis management outside the European Union. If he had any familiarity with the mounting of peacekeeping operations and conflict prevention, he would know that there is an increasing requirement in such operations for gendarmerie-type police. They exist in some member states, but do not exist in this country and a number of others. Therefore the countries that have them are prepared to get together, pool them and put them at the disposal of the United Nations or the European Union for peacekeeping operations, where they are extremely valuable and important. They are not for deployment within the European Union to other member states. We can go on with these fantasies, I suppose, all night if necessary, but it might be better to consign them to our pillows where such fantasies can become nightmares. Really and truly, this is not a serious subject.

And later on in the debate:
Lord Willoughby de Broke (UKIP)
I support my noble friend Lord Pearson. I do not think that the strictures from the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, are correct. This is an EU force, which, as my noble friend said, is training in Vicenza. It is not a civil, nice, friendly bobby police force, but riot police. I know that I am not allowed to produce photographs or anything else as hard evidence in your Lordships' House, but I can describe a photograph of helmeted, shielded, gas-masked, armed police training in Vicenza, with EU flashes on their shoulders. They are obviously acting in an EU capacity. Why, therefore, should they not at some point be deployed within the European Union?

I am sure that this will just be ignored by people, though. Like EU Pol. Like the building up of the single EU defence force, like MEP expenses, the erosion of democracy, the continual fraud, the legislation which governs our every move: we will soon go back to worshipping the false gods of Britney Spears and Big Brother Contestant mark XII. That's if anyone managed to raise their attention high enough to wonder about our security, safety and if we will be sent off to some foreign prison on the say so of a local magistrate who doesn't understand the EU or what legal systems are like in other countries.

It's endlessly tiresome, it really is. When will people wake up, or are they happy to sit here and watch the country be taken over? I suppose they must be: they've been electing pro EU governments ever since we joined the EU back in the 1970s.

We really do get the governments we deserve.

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