Veterans for Britain has reiterated its concern the UK is being entangled in advanced plans for European military integration despite the Brexit vote, following the semi-official announcement of an ad hoc European Union (EU) military headquarters.
Diplomats and EU officials speaking on condition of anonymity have told Politico the Military Planning and Conduct Capabilities (MPCC) unit will take charge of some military missions. The unit’s establishment forms part of a wider push for EU military integration backed by Germany, France, and Italy, in support of the president of the European Commission’s long-term goal of a single European Army.
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) May 20, 2014
Poland and the United Kingdom reportedly do not view the “modest” MPCC as an incipient operational headquarters, but Politico’s sources described it as “a good first step”.
Speaking to Breitbart London, Veterans for Britain spokesman David Banks noted: “The context to this is that the EU already has a Military Staff (EUMS), Military Committee (EUMC), and Intelligence Central Command (INTCEN).”
These existing structures “and the further military plans [the EU] pushed through in November, are so far-reaching that a single permanent HQ seems like a cosmetic touch. However, an actual EU military HQ excites the bureaucrats because it’s the totemic presence they’ve always wanted. It would be their marker in the sand.”
Major-General Julian Thompson, the decorated chairman of Veterans for Britain who commanded Britain’s land forces during the Falklands War, warned last week that “Brexit has generated an opportunity to advance the EU’s Defence Union, perhaps by a decade … [but] It would have happened anyway at a slower, less perceptible rate.”
He further noted that “the referendum event has provided the UK with an opportunity to make a clear untethering of itself from these nascent and dangerous EU defence structures; and at the same time alerts pro-NATO countries within the EU of the need to plug what was a slow but still fatal leak.”
In October 2016, the European Parliament issued a report urging the EU’s federalist-leaning governments to “unleash the full potential of the Lisbon Treaty with regard to the Common Security and Defence Policy”, reminding them that they are “empowered to build a European Security and Defence Union that should lead in due time to the establishment of the European Armed Forces”.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Party leader Nick Clegg, who dismissed warnings about a European Army as “a dangerous fantasy that is simply not true” in a debate with Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage in 2014, subsequently admitted that it was on the cards in February 2017.