Commission Work Programme 2015

Part of Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:40 pm on 9th March 2015.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe 6:40 pm, 9th March 2015

In fairness to President Juncker, with whom I do not agree on that point, it is not a secret that he has held that view for a long time and I suspect it is held by pretty much every leading politician in Luxembourg.




That is the reality. A small European country would see an obvious benefit to its national interest from that sort of greater European action. The British Government do not share the view that a European army would be helpful or necessary. We believe that NATO is and should remain the centrepiece of our collective defence and security arrangements.

Were there to be any move towards establishing greater European military integration, it would first require consensus among member states, because such matters cannot be determined by a qualified majority vote under the treaty. Moreover, as I am sure my hon. Friend will recall, in passing the European Union Act 2011, this House required that there would have to be both an Act of Parliament and a referendum of the British people before any British Prime Minister could give consent to a proposal for the establishment of an EU army or armed forces in some hypothetical future.