Surveillance, Secrecy and Sovereignty: How a Peace Campaign Challenged the Activities of a US Base in Britain, a history of the Menwith Campaign.
Over the last 25 years of CAAB the core issue of British sovereignty in relation to the US bases in Britain (usually named as RAF bases) has been explored and illuminated using a variety of campaign methods of which asking questions in parliament and testing the law via court challenges have been the most effective. The information gathered makes disturbing reading at any time, but especially when, as now, the foreign policy of a new US presidential government is causing concern worldwide, and when the British government is increasingly relying on the ‘special relationship’ with the US as a counter balance to changing relationships with the European Union.
The campaign has revealed the secrecy surrounding the original agreement of 1957 which covered the agreement between the two governments relating to Menwith Hill and which passed without parliamentary scrutiny. Subsequent significant developments at the base have also been surrounded by secrecy and evasiveness, in particular the increasing importance of Menwith Hill to US global defence, and its key role in NSA’s intelligence gathering capacity. These key changes have been allowed with little public or parliamentary discussion of the implications for civil liberties and the dangers of secret electronic surveillance of friend and foe alike. While the issue of British sovereignty in relation to the European parliament were a key issue in the Brexit debates, it is has been largely ignored in relation to the US and its bases here.
To explore these issues further see Chapter 3 of
Nunnerley, M L. Surveillance, Secrecy and Sovereignty. How a Peace Campaign challenged the Activities of a Us Base in Britain. 2014. Published in 2014 by York Publishing Services. ISBN number is 978-0-9928406-0-0.
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