Jean-Claude Juncker insisted in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday that the EU: “Should also have more influence on the world stage, need to be able to take foreign policy decisions more swiftly…the setting up of a European Defence Fund is on our agenda.
“By 2025 we will need a functioning European Defence Union,” Juncker said. While very few people watched Juncker’s speech, both Kawczynski and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage did.
Kawczynski said: “The biggest threat to national security comes from Germany and France demanding to usurp NATO supremacy and create a single EU Army. That would be a disaster.
“The EU doesn’t have a pedigree for undertaking projects successfully; whether it’s the Euro, massive youth unemployment, the crisis in Greece… and to give them the responsibility of protecting Europe through a single EU Army would lead to great instability and a resurgence of Russian aggression to some of these (Eastern European) states.
“As we [Britain] pull out we have to work with these countries to make sure German plans for a single EU Army are thwarted. We can’t have a defence mechanism that doesn’t involve the Americans and Canadians.”
He added that existing military forces such as Turkey, Norway, Iceland, as well as Britain, are NATO members but operate outside the EU, so there was “no need to be militarily tied to the Continent”.
Juncker also cited a new proposal to merge the jobs of European Council President and European Commission President for a single EU President.
Director of the Global Britain Programme, James Rogers, commented: “After Brexit, some are worried that the UK is about to begin a period of economic and geopolitical decline. But […] far from beginning the Brexit process from a position of weakness, the UK is in a remarkably strong position.
“When you analyse data regarding British military strength, technological prowess and cultural prestige, the UK is second only to the United States in its capabilities. Even in relation to economic or diplomatic capacity, it is consistently in the top five countries.”
Speaking after the State of the Union address, Nigel Farage criticised plans to create a fully functioning European Defence Union.
Farage noted that: “This is the most honest and truly worrying speech I’ve heard in my long years in this place. There’s to be one powerful President for the whole of the EU, a finance minister with fresh powers to intervene as and when they see necessary, a stronger European Army in a militarised European Union with perhaps a more aggressive foreign policy too. It’s more Europe in every single direction and all of it to be done without the consent of the people.
“The way you’re treating Hungary and Poland already must remind them of living under the Soviet Communists when you attempt to tell them how to run their own countries. All I can say is thank God we’re leaving.”