The EU has opened the door to Britain sending troops or other specialists to France after an emergency mechanism was triggered for the first time in the bloc's history, the Daily Telegraph has reported. France activated Article 42, a distress call that compels other EU states to send military and other support. It is akin to Article 5, the NATO mutual defence pact.
UKIP Defence Spokesman MEP Mike Hookem said in response: "I agree with the need to defeat Islamic State but any UK involvement should be taken with the approval of our elected MPs in Westminster, not via the back door of some EU Treaty no one has ever read.
"We stand shoulder to shoulder with the French people who have suffered at the hands of extremism but we cannot have our military involved in a world conflict without any democratic accountability.
"I doubt there are many people who knew this solidarity clause existed and that the UK could be dragged into war at the request of any one of 27 other countries.
"We should be looking at an international approach via the UN especially as all the permanent members have now indicated their support for a grand coalition.
"We need to know who would be in charge of the command and control structure and importantly we must learn the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq and not go into any conflict at half cock, leaving behind a situation which is more unstable than the one which existed before.
"Not one British soldier should be deployed to any conflict without proper oversight of a strategy and ENDEX."