Brussels, 17th March - Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton has criticised attempts to create an EU army by stealth. After Jean Claude Juncker's call for a European Army, the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee has produced an opinion calling for the European Commission to publish its delayed Green Paper on control of defence assets, alongside its 2014 Roadmap 'Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector'. The Roadmap states that a "European approach" to defence procurement is needed to "ensure an appropriate level of European autonomy in defence and security". There are strong fears following Mr Juncker's comments that with the Roadmap and Green Paper, which remains shrouded in secrecy, the European Commission is seeking to gain control over member states security and military assets.
Speaking in the European Parliament Mr Dalton said:
"Conservative MEPs will not tolerate any attempt to creep towards a European army by stealth, defence should remain entirely under the control of national governments."
"The UK's independent defence capability is not up for negotiation, if defence spending in the rest of Europe is not at the same level as in Britain then other member states need to spend more, not seek to exploit the UK's resources for their own ends."
"Jean Claude Juncker may talk about wanting his own private army, but Conservative MEPs will fight to ensure this dangerous proposal never becomes reality."