In 1914 Britain wasn’t directly involved in the European power struggle which led to the First World War, and could have stayed out of the conflict. However our Government chose to enter the War on a matter of principle and honour.
Britain had been a co-signatory to the Treaty of London 1839 which guaranteed to join with other signatories including France, Austria, Germany, Russia and Belgium to uphold and protect the neutrality of Belgium.
When in 1914 Germany invaded Belgium it was in direct violation of that Treaty, and this triggered a requirement for Britain to oppose Germany’s invasion if necessarily with military force. When Germany learnt that Britain would go to war with them over their violation of Belgium neutrality they were incredulous and could not believe that Britain and Germany would be going to war over a mere “scrap of paper”.
In those days Britain felt honour bound by the Treaty and believed that if she failed to follow international law, Britain’s international standing would have been seriously and fatally compromised for the future.
Nearly 1 million British and Dominion soldiers were to pay the price with their lives, in the First World War, for upholding that principle.
Boris Johnson’s cavalier threats to tear up parts of the Brexit Agreement with Europe are an insult to the memory of those men, and would be a stain on the Country’s honour.
But as we know he is not a man of honour.