Britain is planning block the European Union’s attempts to forge a closer military union and consequentially creating an “EU army” even though the UK has been left out of key proposal talks because the nation voted for a Brexit in June this year.
Sir Michael Fallon, defence secretary of Britain, told The Times newspaper on Saturday that the UK will veto measures for the creation of an EU army that looks to rival NATO in its armed forces capability.
“That is not going to happen. We are full members of the EU and we will go on resisting any attempt to set up a rival to Nato,” said Fallon to The Times.
“We have always been concerned about unnecessarily duplicating what we already have in Nato.”
On Friday, 27 EU member states met in Bratislava to discuss a variety of matters, including that of a closer military integration.
Britain was not invited to talks because the nation voted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23. However, the UK is still part of the EU and will remain so until it goes through a two-year process to negotiate its exit. This process will only start once Article 50 is triggered but this has not happened yet.
European Council president Donald Tusk told reporters at the Bratislava summit on Friday that UK prime minister Theresa May told him that “it was almost impossible to trigger article 50 this year but it’s quite likely that they will be ready, maybe in January, maybe in February, next year.”
The Times reported on Thursday this week that Germany and France, Europe’s two economic and political powerhouses, are understood to support the plans but Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are opposed to creating an EU army.