THE EU will today ratify the creation of a continent wide super army that will be up and running next year – and blame BREXIT for its creation.
Brussels politicians convened in the French city of Strasbourg to thrash out the plans that will cost taxpayers’ £420m-a-year.
They will vote on the issue to establish an “EU-wide system for the coordination of rapid movement of defence forces personnel” across Europe later today.
If agreed Britain will not only be forced to foot the bill because it is timetabled for before the triggering of Article 50, but it will also be legally drawn into it.
And bizarrely the EU claims it needs to make a position of European Defence Minister and roll out a massive army because of BREXIT.
It states: “At a time when public support for the EU is being called into question in some Member States, defence and security is an area where the individual and collective benefits of more Europe can be easily demonstrated, especially regarding the likely challenges to EU’s standing as a strategic actor following Brexit.”
The report demands the EU bankroll the initiative with an immediate £76 million for ‘preparatory action on EU defence research’ starting in 2017.
Politicians in each of the 28 member state will also be forced to hand over their own defence plans and capabilities to the EU as it probes capability.
Speaking last night in Strasborg, MEP Urmas Paet said the army must become a reality “without further delays”.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group member said: “The state of European security has grown increasingly fragile. The EU, in order to defend itself and increase security, must do more.”
He warned many member states were decreasing the sizes of their own armies due to cuts, while the EU as a whole remained overly-reliant on NATO and “US solidarity”.
Mr Paet said: “Tomorrow the EU is voting on report. My own recommendations to spend two per cent of each member state’s GDP on defence.”
The plans have been in the pipeline for a number of years but have repeatedly been denied by the UK government.
UKIP defence spokesman Mike Hookem, a former soldier said the super army could be potentially mobilised outside of Europe too.
And he said the proposal could pose serious consequences for the EU.
He also warned the EU Defence Union would have its own trade union meaning soldiers could go on strike and hold governments and the EU to ransom.
“There are clear security reasons why members of the Armed Forces are subject to different rules from those in civilian life: rules which were compensated for previously by governments who took the welfare of its troops and this country seriously with work and fiscal benefits.
“It is not in the country’s national interests for soldiers, sailors or airmen to be able to lay down arms and ignore the chain of command because of a union decision.
“I have been on exercises with Danish troops who stopped working at 1700hrs.
“Military life does not work like that and war does not fit into a 9-5 schedule.
“If there were an EU Military with a strong trade union we could see situations which terrorists could easily take advantage of, particularly if they were based on a French style trade union system which has often brought countries to a standstill and created havoc as we all saw in Calais in the last few months.”
Greek MEP Konstantinos Papadakis, last night said the prospect of an EU Army was a “danger” and could actually lead to, rather than prevent, a war.
He said: “The creation of a European defence policy with a European army in the context of NATO represents a danger for the EU.
“The so-called ‘military Schengen’ would be a dangerous development. It is a process of preparation for war in the EU.”
However, Mr Hookem has warned that the two battalions earmarked for this role, 16 Air Assault Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade, cannot actually deploy at the same time.
Service Personnel in the UK Armed Forces are forbidden by the Queen’s Regulations from joining a union or going on strike: regulations by which every serviceman and woman is bound.
Mr Hookem said the EU army could ‘threaten Britain’s military readiness’
The document also calls for EU-NATO projects on communications and response including at sea, on migration, cyber security and defence as well as on exercises and bolstering defences in the ‘buffer states’ between the EU and Russia.
It raises the question of whether NATO countries could be called to defend EU countries which are not part of the EU.
Mr Hookem continued: “It is another demonstration of why the UK needs to detach itself from the EU and the direction in which it is heading and instead properly fund its Armed Forces and rebuild its relationship with the US whilst ending this unnecessary provocation of Russia which has not neglected its military and has vastly superior fire and man power to us.”