September 20, 2012

UK Tories condemn possible plans for 'European army'

By Martin Banks - 20th September 2012

 This is an accelerated and dangerous push towards creation of a European Federal state
Geoffrey van Orden
Some MEPs have condemned new proposals to create an EU foreign ministry and defence force.

A 'hard core' of 11 European foreign ministers is pushing for intensive EU integration, including moves towards a European army.

This emerged in a policy paper drawn up by nine member states, including France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland.

It calls for wholesale reorganisation of external and security policies to create an all-powerful foreign ministry, run on majority voting.

The report is said to envisage a European army and single market for pooled EU defence industries.

In their "Final report of the future of Europe group", released earlier this week, the nine member states call for an EU seat in international organisations, such as the UN and a reinforced EU defence policy that "could eventually involve a European army".

They said they want an end to the national veto in the areas of foreign and defence policy and in changes to European treaties.

However, the plans have met with fierce resistance from some MEPs, including ECR members Charles Tannock and Geoffrey van Orden.

Tannock described the scheme as "unwanted, unwarranted and unlikely to prevail. This plays into the hands of the hard-line Eurosceptics who have been predicting this type of move for years.

"There is no evidence that this is something the people of Europe desire and it appears as a political elitist top down project which will end in tears.

"There is no support for such a move in the UK by the public or the government, which would result in a veto and a referendum which would almost undoubtedly reject it."

Van Orden, his party's defence spokesman in parliament, said, "This is an accelerated and dangerous push towards creation of a European federal state which none of our people want.

"This hard core group confirms its view of the euro as 'the most powerful symbol of European integration' and seeks to force the pace of European economic governance."