Daily Express


Plot to seize control of our Armed Forces

- By Macer Hall Political Editor

A SECRET German plot could lead to British troops coming under the control of an EU army, Brexit campaigner­s warned last night.

Leaked proposals from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government set out details of a joint European command headquarte­rs, with widespread sharing of military units and equipment.

Insiders said the plan was being kept quiet until July – after Britain’s in-or-out EU referendum next month – in an attempt to avoid inflaming Euroscepti­c sentiment.

Anti-Brussels campaigner­s said Britain could be forced to join the Berlin-inspired force if the country votes to remain in the EU.

The plan could undermine Nato and is seen as evidence that the drive to EU integratio­n will

intensify after next month’s crunch UK vote.

Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said: “This revelation is entirely unsurprisi­ng.

“If there’s one thing we know about the EU, it’s that it is engaged on a relentless project of ever deeper integratio­n. A Euro army is an intrinsic part of that.

“What is alarming – some might say shaming – is that the Government is lobbying the British people to agree to something that will involve surrenderi­ng control over national defence.

“On June 23 we have a once in a lifetime opportunit­y. For the sake of this country’s security and prosperity we must vote Leave.”

Ukip MEP and defence spokesman Mike Hookem said: “It is typical of the EU to make these sovereignt­ythreateni­ng decisions behind closed doors and then to gradually implement them.

“And don’t think the UK will have an opt-out on this issue. It affects the very core of UK sovereignt­y.” Andy Smith, chief executive officer of the UK National Defence Associatio­n, said: “British participat­ion in Nato is the mechanism by which we should cooperate with our western allies.

“It is difficult to see what purpose there could be in an integrated EU defence force – unless it is about subjugatin­g the British Navy, Army and Air Force to European control.

“Do we really want our service men and women, who enlisted to fight for Queen and Country, having to swear allegiance to the President of the European Union?”

The German government’s draft proposals were revealed in a leaked discussion document. It spoke of Germany being “willing to take responsibi­lity and assume leadership”.

The British Government has firmly resisted attempts in the past to extend EU control over defence.

Last month, the Daily Express exposed a bid to set up an EU force “by stealth” by merging German and Dutch armies and navies.

GERMANY is once again promoting the idea of an EU army formed by all the 28 member states. Frankly this is music to the ears of the Brexit campaign in the run-up to the referendum. Nothing is more guaranteed to make the British public vote Leave.

A white paper drawn up in Berlin describes moves to “gradually co-ordinate Europe’s patchwork of national militaries and launch permanent co-operation under common structures among the member states”.

No, enough is enough. This nation has its own Armed Forces that serve us with distinctio­n and bravery and we are aligned to Nato.

The prospect of sharing intelligen­ce and goodness knows what else with a ragtag army of allcomers is untenable. This sinister plan also proves that deeper integratio­n is the aim. If we stay in the EU we slide ever deeper into that political quicksand from which there will be no escape.

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