Tories fire a rocket at Brussels dreams of a Euro-Army

21-Nov-2013 @ 19:0

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservatives MEPs today reaffirmed their determined opposition to all moves to accelerate EU defence policy (CSDP), as the European Parliament nevertheless voted through two such reports.

The 'Annual Report on CSDP', drafted by Greek Socialist MEP Maria Eleni Koppa, is calling for greater harmonisation of EU defence policy and military planning, plus a pooled budget from EU member states to fund military operations. It also demands the creation of a dedicated EU operational military command centre, which has long been a 'red line' for the British Government.

A report on a more "harmonized" EU defence industrial base was also approved by the European Parliament, which prompted concern about EU meddling in areas of vital British national concern.

Conservative Defence and Security spokesman and former senior British Army officer, Geoffrey Van Orden, stated: "Time and again we see that Europe's federalist wing is desperate to turn the EU into some sort of global power with all the trappings of statehood - including a defence capability. It must not happen".

"This EU activity duplicates the work NATO is already doing. It risks destabilising or undermining that vital role. Far from creating any increased defence capability it will drive a wedge between Europe's military powers and our trans-Atlantic allies.

"We reject outright the expensive and pointless idea of creating an EU military headquarters, just so that the EU's political class can play soldiers and battleships.

"These reports amount to some 44 pages altogether.Both could be reduced to 12 words: "Just let the European Union run our armed forces and defence industries!" You only have to say these words to realise how ridiculous that would be."

"When we discuss defence industries we certainly need to invest more in defence R&D, and recognise the very specific nature of defence markets. And there are plenty of examples of successful collaborative defence projects and none of these have involved, or need to involve the European Union."

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