In a development that many across the continent will find concerning, European MPs have published a dossier that sets out plans for an integrated EU army.
Ironically, the militaristic plans were drawn up by the liberal ALDE (European Alliance of Liberals & Democrats) grouping, led by Brexit negotiator-in-chief – and chronic Anglophobe – Guy Verhofstadt.
The plans state that a combined land, sea and air force would be autonomous of member states, meaning that it could be deployed directly from Brussels without prior approval of national governments.
During Britain’s referendum campaign, many pro-EU politicians such as the liberal – and Verhofstadt ally – Nick Clegg derided the fear of an EU army as “a dangerous fantasy”.
Those who warned against such a development have been vindicated – again.
Many across the continent share the fears of the British public and have warned that an EU army further removes sovereignty from the nation state, whilst also equipping Brussels with a force to use against member states who step out of line.
There are also fears that EU fanatics could deploy such an army against the peoples of Europe themselves in the event that public opinion against Brussels spills over into mass protest.
One of the main arguments of those in favour of an EU army is that it will give the bloc more power to challenge the big adversaries of Europe, such as Russia or even China.
Indeed, many a European politician has used the threat of Russia to support calls for an EU army, particularly given the relative weakness of the armies of the eastern nations.
They seem to have overlooked the fact that NATO has done a sufficient job of countering the threat of Russian aggression for well over 60 years. Unlike an integrated army, NATO encourages member states to maintain a strong, sovereign armed forces.
NATO members may still deploy their forces independently of the bloc, but can rely upon mutual support in the event of an attack from a non-NATO country.
Thus, the only real military argument for an EU army is completely void. This suggests that there are political motives for an integrated military force, namely the federalisation of Europe.
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