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Emmanuel Macron’s 'delusional' EU army dream ripped apart – 'UK needs to be wary'


The Labour peer said Mr Macron’s plot for an increasingly independent defence and security force in the EU would be damaging to both Europe as a continent and to NATO. Lord West urged the UK Government against being drawn into the French leader’s “quagmire”.

In a letter to the Financial Times, the Admiral blasted: “France’s President Emmanuel Macron is looking forward to an entirely new transatlantic ‘security architecture’ for the 21st century.

“Macron’s vision is of an all-European defensive collective that is well armed and can act independently and ahead of ‘brain-dead’ NATO.

“The idea is delusional and highly damaging both to NATO and the security of Europe.

“The Permanent Structured Cooperation is part of the EU’s security and defence policy and attractive to many member states in defence-industrial terms.

“Continental Europe has proved adept at sharing out lucrative defence contracts and building new infrastructure but less effective at producing rapidly deployable war-fighting formations.

“President Joe Biden has made sweeping declarations that Europe and the US must again ‘trust in one another’ but Macron’s agenda seems to ‘cross his bows’.

“The UK needs to be wary of being drawn into this European army and defence quagmire.”

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Since his election in 2017, the French President has been pushing for the European Union to stand on its own feet when it comes to security, and no longer rely solely on US military protection inherited from World War Two.

Speaking to the FT last month, the President said he wanted to pursue a “European strategic autonomy” adding “brain-dead” NATO needed deep reforms.

In an attempt to defend his comments, he later said his concept of European strategic autonomy in the defence sector did not mean he wanted to drift apart from the United States but that it would make Europe a more reliable partner and strengthen NATO.

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“I do believe in NATO,” President Macron said during the Munich Security Conference, more than a year after causing confusion among other members of the transatlantic military alliance by saying NATO was “experiencing brain death”.

“I do believe NATO needs a new political momentum and clarification of its strategic concept. NATO needs a more political approach,” he added, speaking after the first G7 meeting attended by US President Joe Biden.

His comments on NATO’s “brain death”, coupled with his decision to seek more cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had caused consternation among some European allies, especially in eastern Europe, which sees the United States as the only credible protection from neighbouring Russia.

He said: “I do believe the best possible involvement of Europe within NATO is to be much more in charge of its own security.”

The French leader added that all of that would make NATO “even stronger than before”.

In a boost to the EU’s plans, two-thirds of those surveyed in a poll from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) think-tank last month, were supportive of a European-level defence force.

In the poll which surveyed 15,000 people, the most supportive of a defence force within the EU were found to be Portugal (72 percent), Sweden (71 percent), Spain (71 percent), France (70 percent) and Poland (69 percent).

When asked on their opinion on the EU’s security partnership with the US, just 10 percent viewed the US as a viable partner.

In contrast, of the 10 nations asked, 67 percent across all countries believe their own country could not rely on the US.

Even in the UK, 74 percent of those asked issued their support for an EU-level defence force.



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