British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the biggest expansion of the British military since the Cold War, calling for Britain to go on the offensive and end an “era of retreat” in the aftermath of Brexit.
His £16.5bn plan will increased Britain’s capacity for international war, but it is also very clear that he has targets closer to home, including Ireland. He attacked the devolution of powers from London to the north of Ireland and Scotland as “a disaster” which he intends to reverse, and described devolution as “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake”.
Britain’s military engagement in Ireland looks set be increased substantially after ‘securocrats’ based in London demanded that the entire island, including immigration and security controls, come under their ambit in the aftermath Brexit.
“I have taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first,” he declared. “This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our armed forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.”
According to a report this week, British military intelligence has already begun to extend its influence by directing its own “investigations” into Irish and foreign citizens south of the border.
In doing so it has the active collaboration of senior Gardaí police in the South. MI5 has successfully leveraged the appointment of former RUC Special Branch Chief Drew Harris as Garda Commissioner to directly target the 26 Counties.
“Several people in the south” are already being monitored by MI5, according to a public admission by the agency. A representative of the agency was speaking at a briefing for journalists at Castlereagh Crown Force base in east Belfast last week.
At the joint briefing with the PSNI, held as a new report on republican armed groups and loyalist paramilitaries was being launched, both forces expressed confidence they would be able to “contain” the breakaway IRA groups with Brexit only months away.
Meanwhile, new legislation currently passing through Westminster will allow MI5 double-agents to carry out killings and other crimes across Ireland without fear of prosecution. Amnesty International has described the new legislation as a “licence to kill”.
“[It] is deeply alarming that the proposed law does not explicitly prohibit MI5 and other agencies from authorising crimes like torture and killing,” said Amnesty campaigns manager Grainne Teggart.
“We have seen the consequences of undercover agents in paramilitary organisations operating with apparent impunity whilst committing grave human rights abuses, including murder.”
Speaking out against the increasingly aggressive actions of the British state, Derry Councillor Gary Donnelly said this week: “The murders of Rosemary Nelson, Pat Finucane and others were planned and executed by British agents.
“British agents have been operating in Ireland with impunity for decades, to now give them formal legal cover gives victims absolutely no legal address and is also an attempt to vindicate all previous heinous crimes committed.”