The claim that Britain will be forced to join an EU army unless it leaves the EU is not correct.

The website ‘Full Fact’ is an independent and impartial fact checking charity based in the UK. Their conclusion reads:

“Incorrect. The UK has a veto on EU military policy so couldn’t be forced to participate in an EU army.”

Describing their effectiveness, they say:

“Factchecks alone are not enough to halt the spread of misinformation. When we see an inaccurate claim being repeated, we get in touch with those responsible to correct the record. We’ve secured corrections from the then Prime Minister David Cameron, both sides of the House of Commons, national charities, and every major newspaper. You can read more about our corrections work on our blog.”

Recently a claim about supposed plans for an EU army has been going viral again on Facebook.

The post claims that Britain will be forced to join an EU army unless the UK leaves the EU. It includes a screenshot of a 2016 article in the Express reporting then-armed forces minister Penny Mordaunt saying this during the EU referendum campaign.

The article discussing the claim, which can be found here, adds:

“The UK could not be “forced” to participate in EU military policies even if we stay in the EU.

Whether or not EU nations wish to create an “EU army”, and regardless of what that might actually entail, the European Commission can’t propose laws about security or defence. On issues like this, member countries effectively have a veto, so the UK would only take part if it chose to.”

Concluding:

“The EU does have various policies for defensive and security cooperation. For example, under the Common Security and Defence Policy, EU countries can pool military funding and resources. The UK participates in military operations through this policy.

The EU has also established Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) a strategy which aims to “jointly develop defence capabilities and make them available for EU military operations” which the UK has chosen not to participate in.”

This article is part of their work factchecking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.

64
Leave a Reply

avatar
15 Comment threads
49 Thread replies
31 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
30 Comment authors
George AllisonLee BrennanMiss Jennifer DeanJonDavid Flandry Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Steven
Guest
Steven

To whoever felt the need to write the “fact check” article, all i have to say is……We are leaving. Quit crying, get your head around it and move on.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

You must remember Steven, we live in a world were words are ‘dangerous’, you making the hideous and unforgivable comment of “quit crying” is extremely ‘offensive’ these days.
They have ‘moderation’ to help guide you to what you should and shouldn’t say, remember…their guidance is for your ‘benefit’, they know what words you ‘should’ be saying afterall!
Wrong think is bad.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Yes, it looks like Johnson will be PM and we will leave with s hard Brexit unless the opposition win a vote of no confidence and there is a general election.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

will they be painting his bicycle grey and calling it an t31?

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Nah! I think it’s got gears…it will be too expensive.

julian1
Guest
julian1

which is quite likely to happen by the way. as much as I don’t like Corbyn and don’t want to see him in power, the country can’t be held to ransom by the MINORITY of hard-right tories who want Brexit for their own ideological reasons (forget the referendum vote.) I would just laugh to see those right wing tories with their smacked-arse faces when their own party turned on them as they wanted it all nd lost everything

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I think you flatter the hard-right Tories by crediting them with an ideology. I believe the motivation for the (well orchestrated) Brexit campaign was very simple: the EU was gradually removing their hold on the levers of influence and wealth. e.g. with plans to force into the open the current opaque network of onshore and offshore Trusts it would become straightforward to question the grossly inequitable distribution of land and wealth in the country. With acknowledgement to Full Metal Jacket, for the ordinary person in the UK the financial wind doesn’t blow…..it sucks.

Sjb1968
Guest
Sjb1968

The Labour Party was in power for 10 years and did nothing to resolve mine and your legitimate grievances about the direction of the UK. The leadership of the EU is as bent as ours and were doing nothing to shed any light on their own kinds behaviour.
As for the hard right conspiracy theory that includes 17m+ UK citizens that is just not credible.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I agree with your comment re the labour party. Corbyn’s ambition is to supplant the current establishment with his own Marxist management of the country. On the EU I am more generously minded. My reading of EU is that it is an attempt to implement Catholic social teaching, blending individual responsibility with strong emphasis on family and community. This is not Corbyn’s idea of socialism so he supports Brexit. Sadly the philosophy of the EU founders went pear shaped when Mitterand fell victim to Masonic influence ( Me,me,me) got a penchant for glass pyramids and insisted on the Euro as… Read more »

Sjb1968
Guest
Sjb1968

Paul the problem is indeed within our shores and I get the point regarding the Daily Mail but it did not make the difference in the referendum no more so than project fear. They probably cancelled each other out. The article is well reasearched and written but misses the fundamental point that the EU will one day have an army and if we stay in, UK politicians will sign us up just like they have with freedom of movement and a multitude of other treaty commitments over the last 40 years. Now despite a democratic vote this is all now… Read more »

Miss Jennifer Dean
Guest
Miss Jennifer Dean

Lies on both sides don’t cancel each other out! |They just make the fraudulent referendum of 2016 even more undemocratic. The EU can’t have an army if we veto it, assuming that we come to our senses again and cancel Brexit. If we leave the EU, what’s to stop such an army from happening?

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

Corbyn would destroy the UK and hold everyone ransom to his Marxist beliefs.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Nothing to do with crying, rather the constant lie spread by leavers about an EU army, as for your comment, grow up

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

It’s good to know that a Veto on this remains, whatever happens to the whole B Saga.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

I believe the EU simply wants to amortise defence costs across all 27 members, and ask for contributions to achieve that goal. As for the UK veto, if we remain I fear the veto will be squashed by law, and we will have to contribute to both NATO and the EU Force. The whole idea is flimsy at best and ill-judged.

Andie Hallihan
Guest
Andie Hallihan

Veto needs treaty change – which we can veto. The 2011 European Union Act required parliament and referendum backing for powers to be passed to Brussels. That Act was repealed by the Brexit legislation! Let’s put it back in place! Leaving the EU treaties could (perversely) make it easier for a future UK government to sign us up to EU defence initiatives!

turk
Guest
turk

Fact checkers are a waste of time as people believe what they want to believe (and are quite happy to share the lies) or aren’t educated to a standard where they’re able to distinguish disinformation for themselves. If you find yourself having to use a fact checker you’re doing it wrong. For instance the US president would say fact checkers are fake news if they disagree with his opinion, using it to reinforce their view and help perpetuate the fake news. See below

John
Guest

This “fact check” is a waste of time. The only truth to this is yes, as things stand at the moment the UK cannot be forced into an “EU army”. What this ignores is the strong likelihood that the EU will change the laws in the future, implement a new defence policy or have some special circumstance, under which the UK is forced to join into an “EU military campaign”. Added to this, this fact check is simply indulging in word play regarding the term “EU army”. The principle concern of people around this point is that UK troops or… Read more »

Kev
Guest
Kev

The whole point of a fact check is to show the facts as they stand….so if ‘at the moment’ the UK can’t be forced into anything the EU does military surely that’s the relevant point? If and it’s a big if, you could expand on which armed conflicts the EU is likely to engage in or even start in the next 10-15 years where it would force a member state to participate against its will you may have a valid point. Likewise if you could point to the potential legislation or parties pushing for such legislation that you claim is… Read more »

John
Guest

You’ve missed the point a bit, the fact check has basically cherry picked certain facts to debunk whilst ignoring others. Does the EU have a proven track record of poor democratic accountability? Yes (this is what I feel is the core point here). When Germany or France wants something within the EU, does it tend to happen? Yes. As facts stand, both Germany and France want to create a European army. and the people in power of the EU are pushing for ever closer intergration. It doesn’t take a genius to piece these together, look at the course of the… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

‘Strong likelihood’? – Whilst there are some members of the EU Parliament who would like an EU Army that doesn’t mean there is any likelihood of it happening as it stands. Firstly it would need to be proposed by the Commission which is highly unlikely as they can’t propose anything based upon defence. For it to happen would require the Council of Ministers to do something and there isn’t any support for the idea there and only one nation would need to be opposed to the idea to kill it via the use of their veto. Finally there is no… Read more »

John
Guest

If the EU keeps pushing with “Ever closer intergration” it will happen. As it stands the EU is reliant on NATO (i.e. America) for its defence. This means that it is not truly independent as America currently holds this Trump card. (As Donald Trump recently mentioned). The EU wants to be independent from outside influence and chart its own course, the only way for the EU to be independent of American influence is to form its own defence policy of some sort. What shape or form this takes remains to be seen. The only way I believe this wont happen… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

The EU has its own defence policy and that doesn’t include an army. It just won’t get past the Council of Ministers so the time that gets wasted on this paranoid nonsense is tiresome.

Academic really, as it stands there will be a General election in October and a referendum in the spring of 2020. Watching the Tory leadership contestants bring up all the same Flying Unicorn ideas that will be shot down all over again is fascinating to watch in a morbid kind of way.

John
Guest

I knew someone would nitpick over the term defence policy. You have succeeded in nitpicking over one point while ignoring the main thrust. Yes the EU does currently have a defence policy. However, in the context of this article, and all of the points I have been making, there is and will continue to be a strong drive from within the EU, for members to more heavily commit to collective EU defence. As things stand, without NATO (America), the current EU defence policy is pretty limp. People in the EU are aware of this and don’t want to be reliant… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The eu could not change the law without the consent of the UK. I’m afraid any failing of the EU is also a failing of our nations political leadership. Leaving or remaining will not change how our nation is now very much governed by the few for the even fewer ( yes thats rubbish English). Being an individual who has never been completely sure of the best action re Europe I really got down to a job of work in trying to understand what would be the best for our nation. What really came across clearly is 1) that most… Read more »

Cam
Guest
Cam

To be fair it would be a huge and strong army with many reinforcements and ships, aircraft, ect ect, surely second strongest on earth. A superpower??

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

And would all countries contribute equally?
Quite unlikely.

Would it weaken our own sovereign forces due to another easy defence cut. ” We are part of the EU army we can reduce more.”
Quite likely

What language would be used? Chain of command?
Lots of questions.

With NATO what is it’s point? Would there be EU only operations where NATO assets were not involved?

Who would take part? Are the Balkans countries, Spain, ect, reliable?

So many questions.

I know, let’s have a vote!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i vote no, no,no! mind you estonia’s contribution would be a major injection to the inventory(not)

R Cummings
Guest
R Cummings

Looked at coldly and logically, the EU is the world’s second largest economy – only a fraction behind the USA and a third larger than China, has 500 million population compared to the USA’s 330m and Russia’s 148m and faces hybrid threats from Russia, potentially Iran and who knows what other Middle East rogue state in the future. The only reasons it doesn’t have an ‘army’ are that (a) most member states are NATO members and defence of Europe would be undertaken by NATO and (b) there has been no political drive to create a unified military force to date.… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i’ve crunched the numbers(tanks ships, troops e.t.c and it would be a formidable organisation, quite what ‘wiggy’ and the ‘cousins in the u.s would be worth hearing

billythefish
Guest
billythefish

The British Government would in normal times quite happily nod through complete control of our armed forces to Brussels…luckily these are not normal times.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Since when?! No British Government has ever expressed the desire.

George Amery
Guest
George Amery

Hi folks hope all are well.
I agree with Daniele, the veto is key in EU matters. But I would add that whatever the outcome of the B word, a calculation has to be made of whom will take and make the lion’s share of such a military force. Let’s just think in tandem the issue of NATO and the Nations that shoulder the cost and commitment. I would guess the UK would place majority of funding and deployed forces. Let’s face it, we are not impressed with many of the NATO partners most of which are EU members.
All the best
George

Herodotus
Guest

An excellent and timely article; particularly as it is quite clear that the UK will remain part of the EU for the foreseeable future!

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Quite clear? Really.
Do you go to Specsavers?

Herodotus
Guest

Yes, actually I do! I think the joke is ‘should’ve gone to Specsavers’! Shall we rehearse it and then try again?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i do, they’re crap.

Herodotus
Guest

Clearly!

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Veterans for Britain have real concerns, and have done for a couple of years over what the UK has signed up to, even post EU. So ‘fact check’ always makes me dubious, and it reminds me too much of the BBC, as though one person is the sole authority on what is ‘fact’ and what isn’t. We simply do not know the full extent of what the May Govt has signed up to, the infrastructure the EU are putting in place and how this all affects UK military post EU. If it turns out we are 100% in control, no… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ministry of truth anyone ?

John
Guest

Yes, a good question to ask is “who is behind this fact check”. That will shed some light on whether there is political bias involved or not.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

there will always be bias france would say, me first, me first, and the germans would be happy for it

Jon
Guest
Jon

A fact is a thing that is known or proved to be true, and yet you still want to refuse to acknowledge it becuase it goes against your point of view, so you come up with the excuse of “who is behind it”

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

call me a cynic(everyone else does), but,what really does get discussed in the halls of power,the subject is always open to debate, as i’ve said before, with allies like spain i’d want to know how it could all be held together

Herodotus
Guest

Well Andrew…’Veterans for Britain’ eh….sounds like the recent Stephen Poliakoff TV series about nutty generals, ultra right-wing Tory MPs and shady backroom boys! I joke of course, that’s just too silly by half…..oh! but wait a minute though…..

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/who-are-veterans-for-britain/

Emergency Emergency Fake News Fake News Fake News

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Fascinating, truly fascinating. Except for a couple of things, it does nothing to address the genuine concern of military personnel, former and serving. Is as biased as you can get, the cherry picked pieces for each individual had no relevance to my broader point. Failed to virtue signal over the Lib Dem and BSIE fine from the EC, never pointed out that the EC had already given TBP a clean bill of health days before the politically motivated, staunch EU luvvie, Brown’s pathetic smear that led to the EC conclude that TBP is open to ‘foreign’ donations….just like every other… Read more »

Nath
Guest
Nath

Plenty of times in the past countries have been hounded and bullied in to compliance because they had the temerity to use their national veto or where the EU institutions have removed national vetoes in favour of QMV. “A change of the Treaty is not necessarily needed to move from unanimity to qualified majority – this can be done with the so-called “passerelle clauses” in the current Treaties upon the approval of the Council or the European Council.” (statement on extending QMV in energy by the EU) For many years UK policy statements were closely aligned to EU proposals –… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i just don’t believe these issues are for real is it april 1st?

Sjb1968
Guest
Sjb1968

The EU has a president, parliament, courts, currency, legislates, anthem and flag etc. It will have an army and if the UK remains it will be part of it and anyone who states otherwise is as gullible as those who believed in the £350m for the NHS strapline during the referendum. Can you honestly trust a future government of the UK not signing up just like they have for the last 40 years or so. They have used large majorities in our broken system to pass treaties, which have de facto altered the UK constitution with no reference to the… Read more »

Steve10
Guest
Steve10

Hence the tactic of an association agreement, relieves us of the vote but retains the military ties these chaps are funded by Google, Soros’s Open Foundation etc. https://fullfact.org/about/funding/

Veterans for Britain cover this in some detail.

Should I fetch my coat?

Felix
Guest
Felix

Let’s face it. The British have a “sod you” attitude to authority. No matter what the truth is we’re just rebellious children and I’m proud of it

David Bevan
Guest
David Bevan

The problem is not that the UK has a veto. The problem is the combination of the intention of the EU to create a EU army and the propensity of many in the British political class to want to act as a bunch of “pleasers” to the EU. Recently It has become obvious that there are many in the establishment who would rather concede vital UK interests rather than have to go through the unpleasantness of opposing the diktats of Brussels A veto has no power if it is ignored. The danger is the UK gets incrementally sucked into defence… Read more »