Nigel Farage has accused former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and other anti-Brexit campaigners of “lies” as the European Union (EU) moved to sign a deal on forming a joint military force.
This Monday, led by France and Germany, 23 member-states signed up to a Common Defence Fund, which will see them develop and deploy armed forces together.
Mr. Farage famously faced off with the former deputy prime minister in a 2014 debate, after Mr. Clegg claimed the idea of an EU Army was “a dangerous fantasy”.
He said people like Mr. Farage “see conspiracy everywhere” and compared assertions about the creation of such an army to denying the moon landings and believing Elvis faked his own death.
Last Friday, anticipating the signing off on the EU military agreement Monday, Mr. Farage hit back at Mr. Clegg, blasting:
“Are you listening, Nick Clegg? The pact means a European army, navy, air force. They are already establishing their own command centre in Brussels.
“They’ve got the fund, the structures set up for all of it. Already they are divvying up which country will do the helicopter work, which country will be the major naval provider.
“All of that is happening right now!”
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 10, 2017
We aren’t talking about what is really going on with an EU army. MPs should be asking questions. https://t.co/7PkiWMRHAW
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 9, 2017
The EU attempted to hide their plans for the army – including a centralised headquarters and “permanent structured defence co-operation” – before the Brexit referendum, but they were leaked just weeks before the vote.
The former UKIP leader tore into the former Lib-Dem leader on his daily LBC show on the 10th of November, adding:
“When you are told by people that the Leave camp lied in the referendum because of some numbers on the side of a bus that might have slightly overinflated, compare that with the lies we have had for half a century from Nick Clegg and the others. A European Army is happening!”
Mr. Farage has consistently warned of the prospect of an EU army, despite the misleading statements from anti-Brexit campaigners and attempts to hide plans by EU officials.
In 2015, Mr. Farage was aggressively heckled by Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, after describing steps taken towards an EU Army and slamming Mr. Clegg’s “dangerous fantasy” comments.
The following year, in 2016, just day before the Brexit vote, Mr Farage reiterated his warning in a column, writing:”We know that the European Union is hell bent on further, deeper centralisation. Indeed the plans for a full EU army have been put on ice only until the very day after the referendum.”
This September, after the referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, was less secretive about his vision, openly calling for the bloc to rapidly push ahead with the creation the army.