An Italian General has suggested that now is the time for the EU to realise the ambition of a European military now that Brexit is underway.
General Vincenzo Camporini, former chief of the general staff in charge of Italy’s military, has elsewhere asserted that building an EU Army would be easier now that Britain had decided to opt out.
He told La Repubblica newspaper:
“Every step forward was blocked by the British. The British position was crucial – everyone knew that without London, you couldn’t even begin to talk about a common European defence policy.”
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has insisted that an EU Army is required:
“I am convinced that in the long term we won’t be able to do without a common European army,” he told a meeting of Czech diplomats in Prague on Monday, the Daily Mail has reported. He added that the new army must not compete with NATO, but should aim to be a more actionable and reliable partner.”
According to DefenseNews, Camporini also said that declining UK capabilities meant that a lack of British involvement was no longer a problem.
“If anyone had proposed building a European capability in 1999 without the UK, I would have said they were crazy, but during the last few years, UK governments have been greedy with the peace dividend and they gave up their sea projection capability, which they will not get back before their new carriers arrive.”
It should be noted that the British Armed Forces comprise the Royal Navy, a blue-water navy with a comprehensive and advanced fleet; the Royal Marines, a highly specialised amphibious light infantry force; the British Army, the UK’s principal land warfare force; and the Royal Air Force, with a diverse operational fleet consisting of modern fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
The country is a major participant in NATO and other coalition operations and is also party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Recent operations have included Afghanistan and Iraq, peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Cyprus, intervention in Libya and again operations over Iraq and Syria.
Overseas defence facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Kenya, Bahrain and Cyprus.