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.

According to @EngageStrategy1 on twitter:
“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.

36 COMMENTS

  1. the only Viable way for a European army to be formed would be for the Euro-Union disband and reform as a European Federation under one governing body.

    that will never happen as the EU member states are far too divided in opinion and priorities

    • The European Union is turning into a Federation, that’s what the founder’s intended and the Commission is working to bring that about through the Lisbon treaty.

    • that’s the whole reason for the financial crash German banks manipulated it to go their way so you are seeing now Italy are facing hard times with the Euro , France is also facing hard times , Spain & Portugal facing hard times , by creating poverty its amazing what you can get country’s to sign to

  2. probably will happen soon regardless if we say no or us our veto; would an eu armed force be able to be mustered if one of its states/ islands is attacked in time or would it need a majority vote ?

  3. The only sources I have for this are from UK newspapers and Russia Today that have a history of sensationalism (as you stated) for anti-EU stories. Its seems this all comes down to the German white paper on defence looking to bring about closer cooperation (such as the 37 EU security missions since 2003). The only two reliable news sources i can find are from here (which still has an over emphasis on an EU army): http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e90a080e-107b-11e6-91da-096d89bd2173.html#axzz47hu41yFT and from here in Ireland: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/germany-set-to-lift-ban-on-domestic-army-deployments-1.2608160. I don’t like this scare mongering. In Ireland there was persistent lies and posters plastered all over towns and cities here saying a YES vote on the Lisbon Treaty would lead to conscription into an EU army. I’m still waiting on my draft notice.

  4. Its clear that David Cameron is intent on not leaving the EU and is doing everything within his power to try and persuade the public into a IN vote. Of course he is going to dismiss claims of a EU army, if we were to vote to stay in, a EU army is inevitable.

    • Sssh no we’re not, and France doesn’t have any involvement with the command of our Navy either. We’re a sovereign nation, just as powerful and important as we were 100 years ago!

  5. The whole idea of a European army was made up as an excuse for the outside in the up coming referendum. No official or reliable source has claimed there was any idea of a European military

  6. As a Scotmasn and a lover of Britain I strongly think we ought to strengthen ties within the UK. And my approach would be different. As we are a Island of passionate football lovers I’d like to see the Scottish FA disbanded and come under the umbrella of the English FA creating the British football association. And in time inviting through promotion Scottish and irish clubs into the English pyramid of leagues.

    I fear the wider the gap with north and south, from London to Newcastle and Scotland and Wales we will see the separation of the UK and this for me is of greater concern for national security if we don’t see the de-centralisation of London and in terms of sport and the sort if TV deals that England get compared with Scotland. It’s estimated that a million scots subscribe to sky but yet our deal is shocking in comparison.

    We need in my opinion more brittish nationalism and I think sport could persuade those who seek to perhaps vote to break us up. Just my opinion.

    With The EU debate around the corner we have a chance to re-invent UK plc and I’m voting OUT.

    • If I’m reading you right, your plan to fix the UK is to leave the EU and devote more time, energy and money (than we already do) to football? Additionally an ‘OUT’ vote would almost definitely bring about another Indyref which would inevitably draw out further division and tribalism among the concerned parties. Plus, why would people object to closer integration with Europe, while being more than happy with further integration with England?

  7. Saw this on the front of the usual rags this morning. I’m not 100% convinced that a central European force would necessarily be a terrible idea, but we’re a long way away from the level of understanding between nations that would be needed. I think there are interesting ideas like the existing Eurocorps and EU Batlegroups, and I don’t really see why a European force couldn’t operate alongside national organisations. That said, the overlap between EU members and NATO members is large enough to make the whole thing moot.

    TL;DR Obviously not happening, why would it frigging matter if it did

  8. It seems to me to be a pretty stupid story given an entirely wrong emphasis by the alarmist and misleading tabloid media but it’s not clear to me what is actually being suggested (allegedly).

    Is it that each country donates a certain number of personnel and assets (by transferring permanent command and control of them) to a central EU command so that each country retains its own reduced military capacity but there is also a permanent combined EU force or is it that all of the armed forces of every EU country goes under EU command?

    I assume the former because apart from a blitzkrieg-style invasion or nuclear attack a combined EU command would dither for so long in considering a request to deploy that it would effectively disarm all countries because the EU armed force would be permanently glued to the ground due to political indecision and endless votes on whether to deploy. Even with the former (donating part of a country’s capacity) it would mean a country would be significantly weakened because part of its armed forces would be removed and transferred to this frozen and effectively incapable-of-being-deployed force.

    In any case, the story is of no relevance to us in the UK because I do believe that the UK government would use its veto and just say no.

  9. Whilst an EU army could never work, as it would effectively be in limbo as every country in the EU has their own priorties on everything and so it would be incapable of intervening in anything other than a full out invasion of Europe.

    However, I am a little unclear on why a EU army would be bad for NATO, other than that the US don’t want it.

    • I agree. In a way it might be better. I’m also not entirely sure why the US object to it. Right now someone like the US on a NATO exercise or deployment needs to integrate with units from many other countries, each of which have their own procedures, attitudes and ways of working. A unified EU army would at least knit some of those disparate units into a more uniform entity to interface with. In a way it would be a bit like a huge foreign legion where people with different languages and cultures are all moulded to act as a single fighting force under common procedures and language. In this case it is under the exclusive control of France of course so no concerns about deployment decisions not being made.

      The above comment re US could also be mostly said about making it easier for UK forces to integrate into NATO operations but there one price to pay might be a weakening of France’s military if she “donated” significant assets to any EU army. We already work very closely with France as a single entity in our bilateral defence (Lancaster House) agreement and in my view an EU military would reduce the effectiveness of this important partner if she were to join.

      • I suspect the root concern is that if the EU acted as one, they could stand up to the US and dictate foreign policy, which would mean that the US would lose its ruling spot over NATO.

  10. They seem to dictate everything else the UK does, so it does not surprise me Merkel and her cronies would want to run our Armed Forces as well. No doubt Cameron won’t put up much of a struggle along with his band of pen pushers !

  11. There will be mission creep – when the next Treaty comes along in a few years there will be a degree of compulsion built in. When sceptics say this they are always laughed at and ridiculed for being alarmist, then it always happens. Exactly the same happened with Foreign Affairs ten years ago, and now immigration policy into the EU is being made up as they go along. The EU is only going in one direction, whatever Cameron’s legally meaningless ‘opt-outs’ may be…

  12. Then why have the Dutch already integrated 2 of their 3 brigades into the German Army? Who in their right mind would believe the serial liar Cameron when the EU themselves state it as an aim and considering what I have written above? If we vote to remain our sovereignty and democracy will be removed very quickly and there will be no “veto” left. Cameron knows this full well, as do all the “elites” in Westminster, he secured nothing in his so called “renegotiation” scam, don’t fall for his lies yet again.

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