Germany and Britain signed a military pact on October 5 that ensures Britain will retain a military relationship with the European Union after Brexit. The agreement, signed in Germany by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, is intended to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.
Von der Leyen called the agreement a “symbolically important sign” that the strategic partnership between Germany and Britain will continue after Brexit. The pact will reinforce British-European military cooperation “in the navy, the air force, and in cyber capabilities.” The agreement states that Germany and Britain are “determined to deepen and strengthen” their relationship by working together on their “common defense and security goals.”
Britain and Europe have had a close military partnership for decades, so they began work to formulate a security agreement as soon as the British voted on June 23, 2016, to leave the European Union. This February, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “The UK is just as committed to Europe’s security in the future as it has been in the past.”
Von der Leyen says that Britain will still have access to EU defense funds after Brexit. She said on October 5: “It is very important that within the [Permanent Structured Cooperation] third-party states who we want to keep at our side have the ability to participate in projects in an uncomplicated way.” After Brexit, Britain will count as one of these “third-party states” that the EU wants to keep in close contact with.
“There is so much that Britain does in terms of European defense that it is actually important to be able to plug into the European Union,” Williamson said. “And that’s something we hope to be able to get agreement on.” This was the point of the military pact.
However, Britain’s military today is a hollow shell of what it once was. Severe budget shortfalls have led to cuts in important areas of the military, meaning that the British military is quickly losing the ability to protect its own island, much less other EU countries. Today, Britain spends almost half as much on the military as it did 25 years ago. Rear Adm. Alex Burton, a former commander in the British Maritime Forces, told the bbc in March that drastic military spending cuts are endangering Britain’s status as a “credible military power.”
About 4,000 British troops are currently stationed in Germany. In 2010, then Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to remove all these troops by 2020. Nearly all of Britain’s troops will be out of Germany by next year, as Cameron envisioned. However, Williamson announced on September 30 that 185 troops will remain stationed at a training base in Germany indefinitely. The goal with this remnant of troops is to “maintain and improve [Britain’s] close ties with Germany and its armed forces,” according to the British Armed Forces website. Britain also hopes that the presence of this small contingent of troops will “deter Russian aggression,” according to the Sunday Times.
Britain needs to stay close to Europe for national security reasons. That is why it has been seeking concrete assurance from Europe that cooperation will continue despite Brexit. Without a connection to the Continent, Britain is just a lonely island, shut off from the commerce and military support of its neighbor. The August 2016 Trumpet stated:
Britain currently has no aircraft carriers—instead, it relies on an agreement with France. If Argentina once again took the Falkland Islands, Britain’s military is currently too small to retake it. The UK would have to rely on the Anglo-French defense treaty. With France working hard to create some kind of European defense union, Britain could soon find itself reliant on a European military, even though outside the EU.
This dependency exists largely because Britain joined the EU in the first place. In 1962, when Britain first began seeking European membership, Herbert W. Armstrong warned that, “in her economic distress right now, Britain is … going to the Common Market, undoubtedly to be dominated by Germany” (Plain Truth, July 1962).
He was right. Britain has already heavily invested its trust in Europe. Now, after Brexit, the nation is left simply hoping that this trust is not misplaced.
When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, the world was shocked. But the Trumpet and its predecessor the Plain Truth had been predicting it for decades. In 1956, long before Britain joined the EU, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Germany is the economic and military heart of Europe. Probably Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it!”
How did Mr. Armstrong know? He based his prediction on Bible prophecy.
The Bible also prophesies that a German-led European power will double-cross Britain and the other nations descended from ancient Israel, which have taken the modern-day Assyrians as their political “lovers” (Ezekiel 23:9). God says in verse 22, “Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee ….” Why does God do this? The Bible gives God’s perspective on the modern-day nations of Israel, including Britain: “[T]he whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores …” (Isaiah 1:5-6).
Britain has a lot of major problems, but it won’t turn to God for help. Instead, it turns to Germany (Hosea 7:11; 5:13). However, God calls Ephraim a “silly dove” for trusting in Germany, which will double-cross it (Hosea 8:8-9). Britain, America and the modern nation called Israel will all fall together, taken captive by Assyria (Hosea 5:5).
Germany wants to keep Britain at its side until it is no longer advantageous to do so. This military pact may lull Britain into a false sense of security, but that security won’t last long.
To understand more about the future of Britain and the EU, read Trumpeteditor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Germany Is Betraying Britain—Again.” ▪