Merkel Tells Cameron Support E.U. Military in exchange for EU negotiation Talks*
By Macer Hall
The Prime Minister is to be told that Germany would support his bid to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership if he accepts moves to create a European military force.
Critics fear the development could marginalise Britain within NATO and further undermine the “special relationship” with America.
Robert Oxley, of the Eurosceptic pressure group Business for Britain, said:
“This is further proof that inevitable E.U. integration means that the U.K. will lose control of its destiny and, possibly, its military strength inside an unreformed E.U.
“What was once a zone designed for free trade has become a political, economic and potentially a military body.”
Tory MP Tom Pursglove said:
“The British people have no desire for an E.U. army. We are immensely proud of our Armed Forces and owe all those who serve an enormous debt of gratitude.
“The impact of this would also be disastrous. Once again, the E.U. elite is out of step and at odds with the British people.”
Mrs Merkel has been one of Mr Cameron’s closest allies in his attempt to overhaul the way the E.U. functions.
She is understood to be enthusiastic about plans championed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for closer military cooperation on the continent.
It is understood that Britain would not be expected to join the E.U. force.
Mr Cameron has resisted plans for a Brussels-led military force because of the possible impact on NATO.
But a Berlin government source suggested the Prime Minister would have to reassess his position to retain Mrs Merkel’s backing for his EU reform plan.
“If Cameron wants a ‘flexible Europe’, he must let other members integrate further. Yes – opt out and then shut up,” the source said.
It emerged yesterday that policy officials in Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party had drawn up a 10-point plan for EU military cooperation.
The document calls for a permanent headquarters, joint procurement of equipment and a shared doctrine.
The document said:
“In the long run, this process should, according to the present German coalition agreement, lead also to a European army subject to parliament control.”