Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy proposes closer ties with EU, sparking fears of an ‘EU Army’
In a recent disclosure, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, David Lammy, accentuated a desire for Britain to become part of a new “EU security pact,” fuelling concerns over a possible ‘EU Army’ agenda. Addressing a fringe meeting at the Labour conference, organised by the Tony Blair Institute, Lammy suggested a closer military collaboration with the European bloc while criticising the Conservative government’s aversion towards such a pact.
Lammy’s proposition comes amidst the backdrop of fervent support for an EU army by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron. The Shadow Foreign Secretary attacked the Conservatives for declining a security pact, perceived by many as a stepping stone towards an EU army. His military integration ideas extend beyond the current cooperation through NATO and Britain’s engagement in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which facilitates troop mobility across Europe.
Lammy elucidated, “We were surprised when Boris Johnson rejected the opportunity for an EU security pact with our European partners,” affirming Labour’s inclination towards pursuing such a pact. This revelation is suspected to be a part of a broader narrative pushing the UK towards rekindling its relationship with the EU, despite Lammy’s assurance that the pact doesn’t signify a re-entry into the EU, single market, or customs union.
The narrative was further emboldened by Bassetlaw Conservative MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, who voiced concerns over the security pact leading to an ‘EU Army,’ asserting that Labour’s overt willingness to accommodate EU representatives might jeopardise the UK’s hard-won Brexit divergence. Former Brexit minister David Jones and Mark Francois, chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), also echoed sentiments of skepticism towards Labour’s EU alignment, warning against any military arrangement rivaling NATO’s long-standing peacekeeping role in Europe.
The unfolding scenario showcases a dichotomy within British politics, where a segment advocates for closer EU relations while others fear the erosion of Brexit’s sovereign gain. Amidst this tug of war, the spectre of an ‘EU Army’ looms, potentially marking a contentious chapter in UK-EU relations. Source