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THREAT TO NATO: US and Britain MUST join forces in face of EU Army plans

BRITAIN is the only country that will put “serious money on the table” to strengthen NATO as plans for an EU Army draw ever-closer, a former foreign secretary has said.

Lord David Owen, who served under the Labour government between 1977 to 1979, said it was vital for Britain to get behind the US and its commitment to the alliance as the European Union (EU) looks to create its own military force.The former foreign secretary told Express.co.uk Britain should steer clear from any plans for an EU Army, which was agreed in European Parliament by 23 states today having been revived by France and Germany.

He told Express.co.uk: “Yes they are going to go through with, ultimately this may be what Europeans insist on. But we shouldn’t be part of it.

“We should cooperate with the Europeans on defence up until the point where the Americans are having trouble with it. In that case, we shouldn’t do it.

EU army GETTY

David Owen has called on the UK to commit itself to NATO


Lord David Owen

“Our primary relationship is with the US in NATO and keeping NATO strong means keeping the Americans happy and feeling Europe values it.“And one way is to show your value is to show your willingness to put your hand in your pocket.”

The Government today held back on signing up to the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence process, known as Pesco – the first step towards an EU army.

It comes after European Parliament President Donald Tusk confirmed he is pushing to set up an EU army by the end of the year to protect the bloc’s borders and fight back against “destabilisation around Europe”.

David Owen GETTY

David Owen has called on the UK to pay more into NATO


The European Council President called for the 27-nation superstate to introduce PESCO to protect the bloc from the effects of the migrant crisis, hostile bordering states and forces which risk tearing the bloc apart.Lord Owen said Brexit had paved the way for Pesco, long blocked by Britain, which feared the creation of an EU army.

He said: “We were finding it increasingly frustrating and when they changed the structure, where countries could opt in, we lost control of it.

“We must remain committed to NATO, but can’t ignore Europeans will go for this, largely for symbolic reasons.

EU army GETTY

EU members have signed a pact for a joint defence union


“We are not part of it but when we can help it and be a participant, we should.“But we should make these decisions ourselves.”

President Donald Trump threw US membership of NATO into question earlier this year when he hinted he may withdraw support altogether, calling it “obsolete” and a waste of American taxpayers’ dollars.

He also demanded Brussels abandon plans for an EU army if it wants the US to continue support for NATO.

Lord Owen said the UK’s main focus was to keep the US, which is NATO’s largest contributor, happy.

He added: “The US has to feel at least one country in NATO is going to step up to the plate and put serious money on the table.

“And the only country that can and showing any signs of wanting to do it. And that must be our role for the next three to four years, to will send a message to the American people that their commitment to NATO, which has now been strengthened and renewed, is for real.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/879047/EU-army-latest-Brexit-news-european-defence-union-UK-David-Owen-US

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