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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