Souverainistes and their friends in the media are very keen on the idea that defence is a preserve of national sovereignty. Britain should take its own decisions and not be told how to defend itself. Brussels, for example, should keep out.
So surely the intervention by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in an interview with the BBC should provoke a furious eurosceptic reaction. The BBC reports:
Asked whether the scale of defence spending reductions in countries like the UK “worried” Washington, Mrs Clinton told BBC Parliament:
“It does, and the reason it does is because I think we do have to have an alliance where there is a commitment to the common defence. Nato has been the most successful alliance for defensive purposes in the history of the world, I guess, but it has to be maintained. Now, each country has to be able to make its appropriate contributions.”
How dare a foreign government interfere in our democratic decision-making and try to tell us what to do? If national sovereignty means what the eurosceptics tell us it does, it is none of the business of the Americans how we defend ourselves.
But from our anti-European friends, there is instead a steadfast silence. Curious, no?