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ECR

EU defence report “ignores the impact of Brexit

4 September 2017

EU defence report “ignores the impact of Brexit

A new report being prepared by the European parliament on defence which thinks the EU “takes its destiny into its own hands” sidelines NATO and totally fails to address the impact of Brexit, a senior ECR MEP said tonight.

A new report being prepared by the European parliament on defence which thinks the EU “takes its destiny into its own hands” sidelines NATO and totally fails to address the impact of Brexit, a senior ECR MEP said tonight.

Defence co-ordinator Geoffrey Van Orden said the draft annual report on the implementation of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy was clearly making the case for an EU army. Yet it failed to make any recommendations for the EU’s future defence relationship with the UK.

He told MEPs: “If you are talking about European security, surely the key issue for you is the nature of the EU’s future relationship with the UK, the most powerful military power in Europe. Yet Brexit barely gets a mention. That needs to be changed.”

The ECR believe defence and security should remain issues for national governments and that it is the revitalisation of NATO – which bind the US to the security of Europe – that should be the focus of our efforts.

Mr Van Orden added: “Why the EU imagines it is the sole guardian of Western values and the sole actor in their protection is beyond me.

“If you ask the people of Eastern European states whether they have confidence in the European Union being responsible for their security I know what answer you would get. They would have no confidence whatsoever.”

Latvian ECR vice-president Roberts Zīle expressed concern about the potential future implications of the new EU Defence Fund.

He said: “By implementing a new fund to artificially boost Europe’s military industry in order to catch the USA in the military race, the medium term consequences might be quite the opposite. By eroding a well proven cooperation with the most sophisticated military superpower – the US – Europe will fall behind in its military technological capabilities.

“This might raise substantial risks to the most vulnerable European nations, namely those in Eastern Europe facing the threat of Russia’s geopolitical ambitions.”

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