13 November 2017
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has said the decision by twenty-three countries to formalise defence ties represents the latest step toward the creation an EU army.
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
Criticising the new agreement, known as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), Mrs Dodds said:
“During last June’s referendum voters were given assurances by Brussels that fears about the formation of an EU army were foolish and unfounded. Today those claims seem very hollow indeed.
Senior EU officials have described this new defence pact as a ‘game changer’. It will see 23 of the remaining 27 countries jointly develop defence capabilities, making more resources available for EU military operations. Of course this comes as no great shock. For years Brussels has made no secret of plans to strengthen cooperation in this area. Recent ploys include promoting an EU seat on NATO.
Thankfully the United Kingdom will not be party to this vanity project. As part of our confidence and supply agreement with the Conservatives the DUP has secured a guarantee that Government will meet the NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on the armed forces. We continue to support a strong and sovereign national defence policy that protects our people both at home and abroad and which provides support to our allies.
This announcement demonstrates very clearly that the EU has failed to learn the lessons and core causes of Brexit. As the sun goes down on UK membership, the new dawn of European defence will only serve to further alienate those concerned about the ever increasing powers of Brussels.”