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British EU Referendum Thread

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. ElMarquis

    ElMarquis First Year

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    Britain should be showing force. Send a carrier battle group or a couple of heavy surface units to go and pay a visit, to 'show the flag' as it were.

    Oh wait!

    We have no available heavy surface units, no carrier battle group, and one carrier docked in Rosyth, half the crew have resigned from the RN, and it has no aeroplanes to fly off it anyway. AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!

    ElMarquis.
     
  2. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Yes. And this is the EU referendum thread, so what the fuck? Stay on topic.
     
  3. ElMarquis

    ElMarquis First Year

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    Sorry. Just commenting that the former usual method of exerting British influence was a battleship/carrier battle group, we'd send them to host political and diplomatic events aboard.

    In such a situation as this, a ship would go into a foreign harbour where trade talks, diplomacy and the exerting of pressure would occur. The Navy was as much a force of diplomacy, and thereby politics as it was a military force.

    My point being that when negotiating treaties, trade deals or suchlike, Westminster would reach straight for the phone to the naval attaché in that country, and for the First Sea Lord, dispatching a ship/the Royal Yacht to go and pay a visit. It allowed back-room dealings with foreign politicians and diplomats to get a more advantageous negotiating position for our diplomats to get Britain a more advantageous deal.

    ElMarquis.
     
  4. blob

    blob Fourth Year

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    Not sure if it's just a random historic factoid, or you're actually serious that UK should send a carrier group near, uh... Belgium? to help with Brexit talks?

    I mean, it's not exactly 18th century any longer, and Europe isn't likely to line up to grovel and slobber on the knob if some ships from UK arrived at their ports.
     
  5. ElMarquis

    ElMarquis First Year

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    If it were just Belgium, we might increase participation in NATO exercises with the Belgian Navy, send a warship to a Belgian port to host local and national dignitaries for pink gin and a few hours of talking about How Great the British Empire Is (for is, see Was).

    The whole EU would be a bit more complex, but there was a time when the backbone of European military aviation was British. Sea Fury, Spitfire, Seafire, Sea Hawk, Sea Venom, blah blah blah. We would quietly postulate on the increased cost of spares to keep the aircraft going, and the large quantity of ex-RN warships in European hands (the Germans had British frigates, the Dutch had a British carrier, the French had a British carrier, British Lancaster heavy bombers).

    If someone didn't politely agree to our terms, general methodology was a cold yet polite distance, a slight hitch in the price of British products and slightly lowered priority for new toys.

    Nowadays the Saudi Air Force gets such high priority (for priority, read OIL) that we divert aircraft from RAF service to the Saudis.

    ElMarquis.

    P.S - I'm sure many of you are horrified at Britain's imperialist profiteering and use of leverage. It's called politics.
     
  6. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It's not just Britain's reduced military budget that prevents us from using gunboat diplomacy. It's also the fact that the world has moved on since the 1800s and we would quickly find ourselves diplomatically isolated.
     
  7. ElMarquis

    ElMarquis First Year

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    "Vanguard became the flagship of Admiral Sir Arthur Power, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, on 1 March 1949, and the ship made port visits to Algeria, France, Italy, Cyprus, Libya, Lebanon, Greece and Egypt.

    "made port visits in Genoa and Villefranche-sur-Mer"

    "making port visits to Oslo and Kristiansand in Norway and Helsingborg in Sweden. She was inspected on 11 July by King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden before returning home later that month"

    Some brief excerpts from the life of Britain's last battleship, Vanguard. It would seem that she was more a tool of diplomacy than of war...

    "Belfast arrived in Singapore on 16 December 1959, and spent most of 1960 at sea on exercise, calling at ports in Hong Kong, Borneo, India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Australia, the Philippines and Japan. On her final foreign commission Belfast joined a number of exercises in the Far East, and in December 1961 she provided the British guard of honour at Tanganyika's independence ceremony in Dar-es-Salaam."

    "The ship left Singapore on 26 March 1962 for the UK, sailing east via Hong Kong, Guam and Pearl Harbor, San Francisco, Seattle, British Columbia, Panama and Trinidad."

    Plus there's This.

    Gunboat diplomacy still existed in well into the second half of the 20th century. Just because you didn't (American style) actually sail into someone's harbour and blow away their ships/defences/anything else, didn't mean that the gentle reminder of sea power couldn't be used as a force of persuasion.

    ElMarquis.
     
  8. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    A point without a point. Threatening war hasn't gone anywhere, although between equal powers the kind of gun boat diplomacy you reference would be laughable, even in 1850.
     
  9. ElMarquis

    ElMarquis First Year

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    It's not so much the threat of war, but a carrot-stick thing. We can either be problematic for you, or being your best buddy.

    A postwar Anglo-French-Israeli alliance trampled all over Nasser's rabble before Eisenhower made his decision to prop up a Soviet puppet state. (Did anyone check if at some point in his military career that he'd hit his head on something?).

    A Franco-American alliance allowed France to take the whole Indo-China (Vietnam) mess and neatly dump it in someone else's lap, a just retaliation for E's Suez thing.

    An Anglo-Dutch alliance got Britain fighting in Indonesia against Indonesian nationalists and insurgents.

    Gunboat diplomacy goes both ways too. How many times do we remember Soviet Sverdlov class cruisers visiting British ports..? It was a good few occasions.

    The gun part in gunboat diplomacy has probably been most often done by the USN, remembering back to some work done by them in the Pacific and the Mediterranean, opening Japan to trade and 'requesting' that the corsairs of the Barbary Coast keep the grubby paws to themselves.

    Gunboat diplomacy was also used against the slave trade. The deployment of a warship to interdict slaves, as well as one to 'visit' harbours of those still trading was useful.

    ElMarquis.
     
  10. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    No. I'm horrified you continued posting off-topic after I told you to stop. Have an official warning.

    This is really, really not going to be derailed into a discussion about Britain sending the Navy it apparently doesn't have to conquer Brussels.
     
  11. Garden

    Garden Minister of Magic

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    I'm confused. If the UK now has a near hung Parliament and the Brexit Referendum was won by a narrow margin anyways, are there any parties demanding another go at the Referendum?


    Or has so much of the predicted/supposed economic damage of Brexit already been done because of reduced confidence in Britain that it's not worth it to try to prevent Brexit anymore?


    I guess I'm asking: how certain is Brexit given the massive losses the Tories faced?
     
  12. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    The Liberal Democrats campaigned almost primarily on the idea of offering a second Brexit referendum, and landed twelve seats total, which was admittedly an improvement over the last election.
     
  13. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    To clarify for technical correctness: the Lib Dem policy is not a re-run of the referendum per se, but rather to have a referendum on the Brexit deal once it is negotiated. That way people can vote for a specific Brexit vs a specific remain in the EU option (assuming the EU allows us to withdraw article 50).
     
  14. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    The Lib Dems were also eviscerated in the last election, and while you may cynically say that voters have the attention span of proverbial gnats, it takes time to rebuild from such a place. The election being now, while the coalition government is still pretty fresh in people's memory, didn't help either.
     
  15. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    So, today, May set out a vision, with some interesting tidbits. Things I took away from it:
    • The UK is willing to honour its commitments for the 2020 budget. This does not include additional liabilities that the EU claims to have, though.
    • She wants a transition period following 29-03-2019 to ensure that the Brexit isn't a full-on cliff for either side. During this time, EU law is applicable, as is free movement, though people entering are subject to registration pending a final decision.
    • May offered to write in legal safeguards for EU citizens in the UK into the exit bill. Presumably, she is angling for similar language from the EU regarding UK citizens. Pretty much nothing on the Irish border, though.
    • With regards to trade, she said that neither the EU courts nor UK courts should be arbiters in any disputes.
    • She called for being imaginative in thinking, not wanting to commit to either a Norway-style agreement or a Canada-style agreement.
    The Guardian summary, BBC article, Full speech with annotations by the FT.
     
  16. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    The whole point that Brexit is happening at all aside, this seems... encouraging? Let's hope th EU works towards an amicable parting of ways instead of more dick-swinging.