EU army may be ‘done deal’ that will ‘destroy UK security’ – UKIP MEP
The withering riposte from UKIP’s Mike Hookem MEP was precipitated by the suggestion from Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen that Europe move to strengthen its defenses through more closely integrated military cooperation.
Speaking at The Hague last week, Von der Leyen said: “The European Army is our long-term goal. But first we have to strengthen the European Defence Union.”
“The United States also wants us Europeans as a powerful force within NATO.”
“To achieve this, some nations with concrete military cooperation must come to the fore – and the Germans and the Dutch are doing this.”
She was echoing comments made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in March.
In line with his party’s Eurosceptic views, Hookem took issue with von der Leyen’s plans.
In a blog published on the UKIP website Monday, he warned this was “a further attempt by the EU to once and for all destroy the UK’s national integrity and security.”
“Miss von der Leyen’s remarks are further proof of a concerted effort towards the creation of an EU army.”
He expressed his view that the formation of such a force would be something that crept up on the UK public before it could respond.
“The EU has a long record of creating institutions through the ‘back door’ and the creation of an EU army will be no different.
“All of a sudden, the British public will be presented with a ‘done deal’ and British troops will find themselves operating under the EU flag rather than the Union flag.”
In the past, Juncker has warned of a resurgent Russia, saying he believes an EU army could help counter the perceived threat. He also said the EU’s image “has suffered dramatically and also in terms of foreign policy, we don't seem to be taken entirely seriously.”
By contrast, UKIP leader Nigel Farage launched a stinging attack on the idea of forming an EU army to counter Russia.
He went on to say the EU was the catalyst for the conflict in eastern Ukraine, due to its territorial expansion.
“We poked the Russian bear with a stick and unsurprisingly Putin reacted,” Farage said.