Friday, 27 May 2016

InFacts: Times overshoots with “EU army plans”

InFacts: Times overshoots with “EU army plans”

by Jack Schickler

"Contrary to what the Times headline shouts, the proposal appears to fall well short of plans to create an “EU army” under unified EU command. Describing what it calls ‘steps towards creating a European Army,’ the Times article quotes the draft as urging the EU to “step up its contribution to Europe’s security and defence”, and for a more joined-up foreign policy. According to the Times, proposals include “new European military and operational structures, including a headquarters.”

The Times article quotes a spokesman for the author of the plan, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, as saying it would “in no way aim to set up the EU army”. It goes on to say: “Mogherini shared British suspicions of creating European military structures and had a preference for “soft power”, noting that economic sanctions against Russia showed Europe’s best role. She would rather use treaty clauses to let groups of EU states pursue military operations with the blessing of the rest of the EU, a mechanism Britain does not oppose.”

The Times article doesn’t offer much support for the assertion in its headline, and any threat of the UK being dragged into an army project it doesn’t support is far off the mark. Not only can the UK veto EU foreign policy decisions, but any decision on common defence or an EU army would also require another UK referendum."

I remember the first leader of UKIP (remember him?) talking about an EU army. Twenty years later there is still no EU army.

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