There have been reports in UK media of alleged plans for the UK to join a single European Military.
The Prime Minister however has been clear that the UK will never be part of a European Military.
“We have consistently said that we will oppose any measures which would undermine member states’ competence for their own military forces, or lead to competition and duplication with NATO, which is the cornerstone of our defence. Through the European Council we retain a veto on all defence matters in the EU and this is non-negotiable.“
The government believes that Britain is safer as part of an EU that supports and complements NATO – by imposing sanctions or sharing intelligence on terrorists. Crucially, the EU would be weaker and smaller without Britain – its largest defence spender. And that would hurt the collective security of the west – countries who believe in democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
“A change that great would require the consent of the people. Which HMG would never get in a million years for a formal EU army.”
Numerous articles from different sources have also claimed that Angela Merkel will expect David Cameron to drop opposition to a unified EU military in exchange for supporting Britain’s renegotiation of its membership in the EU. This is not expected to happen.
As reported last year, European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that he believed a European Union army is needed to face up to Russian antagonism. Juncker told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that an EU army was necessary.
“You would not create a European army to use it immediately,” he told a newspaper in Germany in an interview published in 2015 “but a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union. Such an army would help us design a common foreign and security policy.”
The framework to create a unified military for the European Union comes from Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union, the article provides for substantial military integration within the institutional framework of the union. However it should be noted that complete integration is an option that requires unanimity from the governments of member states. For now it remains politically infeasible considering the critical stance of the United Kingdom’s government.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Julian Brazier said in a written statement on the 22nd September 2015:
“Although we welcome closer co-operation between the armed forces of EU and NATO member states, this needs to be based on improving defence capabilities across Europe, not creating new institutions. We will not support measures which would undermine member states’ competence for their own military forces, or lead to competition and duplication with NATO.”
It would seem then that claims the United Kingdom is about to join an integrated EU military are nothing more than sensationalism.