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'Tied & Powerless': UK Generals Warn Against Formation of EU Army After Brexit

CC0 / Pixabay / UK military
UK military - Sputnik International
Talk about the formation of a pan-European army has been going on for decades. Yet, it is only over the past few years that the possibility has been seriously considered among politicians and military officials of the bloc’s constituent nations. Now, a group of UK generals are urging caution.

The British military risks being pulled into a united European armed forces structure if parliament votes for Theresa May's Brexit agreement, according to an open letter penned by a number of senior officers from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

The letter, which was published in the Telegraph, outlines the concerns of the retired servicemen about the future of the UK's military independence — or lack of — if Theresa May succeeds in getting her much-maligned Brexit deal through parliament. Despite being overwhelmingly struck down twice in the Commons already, there is increasingly loud talk that the Prime Minister may hold a third vote at some point over the next week. 

READ MORE: There is No Need to Create EU Army — Swedish Defence Minister

Critics of Miss May's deal fear that it will leave Britain entirely vulnerable to the diktats of Brussels when it comes to future security arrangements. Indeed, the now-retired veterans reflected this concern in their open letter: "at a time when [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel's party successor is calling for an EU aircraft carrier, we encourage MPs to reflect more carefully on the wider consequences for national security of voting for Theresa May's ‘deal' now or in the future."

​Moreover, they highlight that May's current deal would allow, "as close an affiliation ‘as is possible under EU law' and, incredibly, UK defence and security would be tied, powerless, under the direction of EU foreign and security policy," if makes it through the minefield of parliament. 

READ MORE: Spanish Prime Minister Supports Idea of Developing EU Army Proposed by Macron

Signatories to the open letter include Major-General Julian Thompson who oversaw Britain's recapturing of the Falklands islands during the war of April — June 1982.

Theresa May has faced increasing calls for her to quit as Prime Minister as she continues to fight tooth and nail to stop the British parliament from taking control of the Brexit ship. 

Reports say that Miss May has attempted to rally her cabinet around a plan to prevent cross-party attempts to stage a vote on possible alternatives to Brexit, including revoking Article 50, a second public referendum and a general election. Yet, despite her efforts, ministerial voices of support have grown for such a vote in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit. 

READ MORE: May Calls Emergency Closed-Door Brexit Meeting in UK Country House — Source

As the days have passed, reports say that May herself has shifted decisively to the anything-but-a-no-deal-Brexit camp.

Whether or not May will put her Brexit deal to the parliament for a third time remains to be seen, but even if she does so, the chances of it passing are remote at best. The deal was voted down in mid-March 2019 by 391 to 242. The first time it was gunned down was two months earlier in mid-January 2019, by 432 to 202 votes, the largest defeat for a sitting government in British parliamentary history.

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