Van Orden responds to European Defence Action Plan

30-Nov-2016 @ 18:30

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Van Orden responds to European Defence Action Plan

In response to today’s release by the European Commission of its new European Defence Action Plan, Conservative Security and Defence spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP said:

“I have a fundamental problem with the whole concept of this Action Plan. The institutions consistently state that, in accordance with the treaties, that defence is a Member State competence, and yet at every turn we find them trying to 'communitarise' defence. This Action Plan is a clear example of this competency creep.

“Besides all the other flaws with the Action Plan, where is the money going to come from? There will be a big hole in the EU budget when the UK leaves. And the EU faces are many other demands for additional spending - dealing with the refugee crisis, for example. If the EU expects its remaining Member States to spend more then they will have to find the money from somewhere. Some will feel they can reduce further their national defence budgets if the EU is going to pick up the slack. This is precisely the opposite of what needs to happen.

“While I remain a strong supporter of our defence industries - in the UK, for example, they are major strategic contributors, hi-tech innovators and employers - I do not believe that European interference is what is required to assist them.

"The key to enhancing the industry is an increase in defence spending by Member States – two per cent of GDP is a minimum - as well as ensuring that our defence industries link up with the very best global partners.”

ENDS

Read the European Commission press release here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-4088_en.htm

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