Members of the European Parliament are set to vote on a controversial report which could see huge swathes of power to a European Union (EU) military structure, at a cost of millions to British taxpayers.
The report, to be debated in Strasbourg next week, aims to give more powers to the military components of the Common Security and Defence Policy, including powers to rival NATO with a ‘mutual defence clause’ and a permanent headquarters with military and civilian staff.
It also means UK taxpayers will have to fork out millions to fund both an EU Defence Research project – costed at 90 million a year – and an EU defence minister, despite the British public voting to leave the EU. One area of the EU Defence Union alone has been costed at half a billion pounds a year, according to the report.
UKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP said the report “has huge implications for the sovereignty of the UK and its ability to control its own military.
“What we have in black and white isn’t the ‘dangerous fantasy’ that Nick Clegg tried to trick voters with in 2014 but the plans for an EU military and security structure to firmly push NATO out of the way,” he said.
That policy, if implemented, would even threaten political freedom in the UK, he added, saying: “Alarmingly, it is even calling for this new Brussels military to combat ‘subversion’, which covers everything from political opposition to the EU by legitimate parties to books, films criticising the EU and a crack-down on free speech – with the EU the judge and jury on whether it is allowed or not.”
The report states that member states do not have the ability to protect themselves militarily without combining forces, and calls for “EU strategic autonomy outside of NATO”. If adopted, it would see the EU pushing its way into internal security matters which currently come under the remit of the Home Office.
The cynical use of the migrant crisis and to push forward with plans for an EU military structure “showed the shamelessness of the EU to use a crisis of its own making to further its own political aims,” former soldier Mr Hookem said.
He added: “The terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris have direct links to the stupidity of the EU’s migrant policy which, had it been carried out by an organisation with any level of accountability, would have seen senior figures being unceremoniously fired.”
The report comes less than a week after the German intelligence service and the Austrian government confirmed that hundreds of Islamic State fighters have come into Europe disguised as asylum seekers.
The report was released nearly a year to the day after the horrific attacks at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, in which six of the attackers were found to have smuggled themselves into Europe as asylum seekers.