Van Orden responds to the European Defence Action Plan
In response to today’s release by the Commission of their new European Defence Action Plan Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP had the following to say:
“I have a fundamental problem with the whole concept of this Action Plan. The institutions consistently state that, in accordance with the Treaties, defence is a Member State competence, and yet at every turn we find them trying to “communitarise” defence. This Action Plan is a clear example of this competency creep.
“Besides all the other flaws with the Action Plan, where is the money going to come from? There will be a big hole in the EU budget when the UK leaves. And the EU faces are many other demands for additional spending – dealing with the refugee crisis, for example. If the EU expects its remaining Member States to spend more then they will have to find the money from somewhere. Some will feel they can reduce further their national defence budgets if the EU is going to pick up the slack. This is precisely the opposite of what needs to happen.
“While I remain a strong supporter of our defence industries – in the UK, for example, they are major strategic contributors, hi-tech innovators and employers – I do not believe that European interference is what is required to assist them. The key to enhancing the industry is an increase in defence spending by Member States – two percent of GDP is a minimum – as well as ensuring that our defence industries link up with the very best global partners.”