One of the two biggest lies which sustains the EU fan club is the statement that the EU prevents wars. I have often explained how wars between western European countries have ceased since 1945, and why this has nothing to do with the EU. The latest outburst that we need an EU army to fight wars for us should help me dismiss this misleading claim about the EU.
The call for a European army does at least show honesty. It recognises that EU policy to date has not been successful in establishing friendly and stable relations with Russia on our borders. EU apologists will claim the latest rows are all Russia’s fault. As I have often made clear, I have no time for Russian aggression or military intervention outside her borders either.Nor do I think the EU has been wise or helpful in managing the Russian relationship. The inclusion of a defence clause in the proposed Association Agreement with Ukraine was bound to provoke Russia for no obviously good purpose.
The call for a European army may be honest, but it is unrealistic and undesirable. These debt soaked countries seeking budget cuts to conform with the discipline of the Euro are in no position to suddenly finance and arm new forces in European uniforms. Most of them fail to spend 2% of GDP on defence to meet their present NATO commitments. They would have no capacity and little desire to spend more to arm Europe.
It is true they could transfer their current forces to a European force. This too would be unwise. Many people sign up for the armed forces in their country because they are loyal to their homeland, and accept the political control and guidance of their elected government. Fewer would feel allegiance to Europe, and many would ask who is the sovereign, who is the government which would decide when and where these European personnel have to risk their lives and fight their wars?
I am glad a Conservative PM, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary have made clear the UK does not wish to participate in a European army. We have the British army. It is part of NATO’s forces should need arise. The NATO system requires the member state government to be the authority over that state’s forces. It does not have EU like powers to counter command or overrule the member state.