STRAIGHT TALK­ING Ger­many schem­ing to lead EU in bat­tle


Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

WHEN­EVER I’ve ap­peared on tele­vi­sion de­bate shows like BBC

and men­tioned the EU’s aim to have its own army, I’ve been pooh­poohed by my fel­low pan­el­lists.

An­gela Merkel, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor, would surely never want such a thing, would she?

The Europhiles would dis­miss the con­cerns of mine and my UKIP pals as “scare-mon­ger­ing”, as if such a thing could sim­ply never hap­pen.

Never in a mil­lion years. No chance. Per­ish the thought. Typ­i­cal UKIP. Etc etc…

So I won­der how many of them opened their copy of the Fi­nan­cial Times over break­fast on Tues­day and choked on their or­ganic corn­flakes and soya milk. steps to “grad­u­ally co-or­di­nate Europe’s patch­work of na­tional mil­i­taries” and launch “per­ma­nent co-op­er­a­tion” un­der com­mon struc­tures among the mem­ber states.

Another pro­posal in­cludes re­lax­ing post-war re­stric­tions on army op­er­a­tions within Ger­many.

De­ploy­ments deal­ing with vi­o­lence or threats of vi­o­lence within Ger­many are cur­rently banned over fears of evok­ing Nazi-era prac­tices. But this draft pro­posal, ac­cord­ing to the FT, seeks to end that ban, not­ing the “char­ac­ter and dy­namic of cur­rent and fu­ture se­cu­rity-po­lit­i­cal threats”.

“Ger­man se­cu­rity pol­icy has rel­e­vance – also for be­yond our coun­try. Ger­many is will­ing to join early, de­ci­sively and sub­stan­tially as a driv­ing force in in­ter­na­tional de­ take re­spon­si­bil­ity and as­sume lead­er­ship,” the white paper said.

Which is another way of say­ing that Ger­many not only wants to see the en­abling of a Europe-wide army, but it wants to be in charge of it, too.

The FT says the paper calls for “the use of all pos­si­bil­i­ties” that are per­mis­si­ble un­der the EU treaties such as es­tab­lish­ing “deep co-op­er­a­tion” be­tween will­ing mem­ber states.

It wants to cre­ate a “joint civil mil­i­tary head­quar­ters for the EU op­er­a­tions”, “a coun­cil of de­fence min­is­ters” and “bet­ter co-or­di­na­tion of the pro­duc­tion and shar­ing of mil­i­tary equip­ment”. As for NATO, the Ger­mans sug­gest: “The more we Euro­peans are ready to take on a greater share of the com­mon bur­den and the more our Amer­i­can part­ner is pre­pared to go along the road of com­mon de­ci­sion-mak­ing, the fur­ther the transat­lantic se­cu­rity part­ner­ship will de­velop greater in­ten­sity and richer re­sults.”

Now, not a lot of peo­ple know this, but there is a lav­ishly-funded EU mu­seum within the walls of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Brus­sels.

In­side it talks of some­thing it calls the Euro­pean Civil War. As a his­to­rian, I was cu­ri­ous as I’d never heard of it and so ob­vi­ously made fur­ther en­quiries.

Turns out that the EU’s so-called “Euro­pean Civil War” was in­deed a his­tor­i­cal event, but is known as some­thing else in Great Bri­tain and in­deed else­where.

Yes, you guessed it – it was called World War II.

And Ger­many, if I re­call rightly, lost.

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