EU army plans ‘accelerated’ by UK security pact with US and AUS – Brexit Britain warned
Macron criticised over push for EU army by Italian MEP
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Brexit Britain has shifted further away from the European Union after signing up to a historic alliance with the US and Australia to increase intelligence sharing in a bid to counter the growing threats in the Indo-Pacific. The pact triggered a furious response from France after Australia abandoned a £45 billion contract for French submarines in favour of the new AUKUS partnership and eight nuclear-powered underwater vessels.
Paris officials have been angered by the snub from Australia and at being left out of the trilateral agreement altogether.
French President Emmanuel Macron has for years been pushing plans for further integration between EU forces.
And a Brexiteer and former UK government adviser has said the AUKUS deal may provide “further fuel” to plans for a European army.
Ben Harris-Quinney, who is also the chair of the Bow Group think-tank, told Express.co.uk: “During the EU referendum we were told a European Army was a conspiracy theory, but a European Army has always been a key part of the long term EU plan to create a federal superstate.
“It is something that the EU is determined to achieve, but it became an even bigger priority post Brexit.
“This latest defence agreement will almost certainly give further fuel to that cause, and it is likely we will see it take form in the next few years.”
Mr Harris-Quinney has added the UK’s departure from the EU has provided the opportunity to assess Britain’s foreign policy and warned against any prospect of being part of Brussels’ military plans.
He said: “The recent events in Afghanistan underline the disastrous nature of the last 20 years of British foreign policy.
“Brexit is an opportunity for Britain to reassess its defence partnerships, and NATO must be part of that reassessment.
“Agreements that don’t require Britain to put in more than other partners and don’t tie us to commitments that aren’t in the interests of the British public should be our aim.
“An EU Army would have been the opposite of all those things, any claims we should join an EU Army even after Brexit are risible.”
Paris has spearheaded plans for an EU army and the departure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel from frontline politics later this month is expected to give President Macron a greater influence around the table in Brussels.
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The restructuring of defence policy and the military across Europe was thrust into the spotlight during the reign of former US President Donald Trump, who called on European members of NATO to increase spending contributions.
EU officials outlined proposals for a 5,000-strong rapid reaction force earlier this month, following the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, reports suggested the Mr Marcon would even be willing to give up France’s seat on the UN Security Council in exchange for the formation of a European Union army.
France is the only EU member state to have a permanent seat on the EU Security Council and is joined by the UK, US, China and Russia.
France has since knocked back any suggestion of relinquishing its seat at the top UN table.
The French President’s office tweeted: “No, France has not offered to leave its seat on the United Nations’ Security Council. It belongs to France and it will remain so.”
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