UKIP defence spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP has branded the EU as “opportunistic chancers” after it was announced that EUNAVFOR-MED was to move into a new phase of offensive operations against people traffickers in the Mediterranean, saying the new role was the “opening gambit” for the creation of combined EU armed forces.
Mr Hookem, speaking from Strasbourg where he has criticised the EU’s handling of Libya and Turkey, said, “The EU is slowly but surely trying to move from the principle of a nation state providing national security; to a more centralised model controlled and commanded from Brussels.
“The EU is using the current migrant crisis in the Mediterranean as nothing more than an opportunistic excuse for the creation of an EU wide army, navy and air force.
“If any of the nation states in Europe are to keep any form of independence from Brussels, then keeping control of their own armed forces is critical.
“While I agree that there needs to be a naval presence in the Mediterranean to tackle the migrant crisis, it should be up to NATO and individual nation states to provide assets and command and control of operational forces, rather than the totally inept EU.
“The EU has already used the current crisis to create an EU wide border force and coastguard, and very soon, we will see Junker in command of naval assets that he has neither the qualifications or experience to command.
“The next step is land and air assets to be brought under EU control and without an official announcement, we will have an EU army through the back door.”