Mike Hookem, UKIP’s Defence Spokesman, today condemned Jean Claude Junker’s calls for a European Union Army saying the plans would be an “utter disaster for the UK.”
Mr Hookem, who sits on the Defence Committee in the European Parliament, said, “UKIP have been ridiculed for years and branded scaremongers for suggesting that the UK’s traditional parties were slowly relinquishing control of our defence and moving toward a European Army. However, yet again, UKIP’s predictions have been proved correct.”
“A European Army would be a tragedy for the UK. We have all seen the utter mess the EU has made of the Eurozone economy, so how can we even think of trusting them with this island’s defence. This is simply a disaster in the making that would see Gibraltar returned to Spain, and the Falkland Islands left open to an unopposed invasion by Argentina. Even more concerning would be the prospect of British troops, under European command operating in the Eastern Ukraine.”
“As an island nation, with interests around the world, we must have our own armed forces that are equipped and trained to protect our people, our interests and our economy. This is why unlike the Lib-Lab-Con, who are complicit in the disastrous European experiment, UKIP will oppose the creation of a European Army; meet the 2% of GDP, NATO defence spending target and return our armed forces strength to the pre 2010 defence cuts personnel levels.”
UKIP has been warning about the desires of the European Union for well over a decade, since the St Malo Agreement signed by Tony Blair in 1998 which committed Britain to hard defence links with France. Despite denials by mainstream British politicians the ambitions of the European Union to have its own fighting army was made clear by then Commission President Romano Prodi when he said, "If you don’t want to call it a European army, don’t call it a European army. You can call it ‘Margaret’, you can call it ‘Mary-Anne’, you can find any name, but it is a joint effort for peace-keeping missions - the first time you have a joint, not bilateral, effort at European level," in February 2000.
This denial and dishonesty amongst our political class was repeated as late as April last year when Nick Clegg accused Nigel Farage of peddling a "dangerous fantasy that is simply not true" when Farage claimed that Europe wanted its own "Army and Navy".