Brits should not join the army until after Brexit, says Ukip leader

Posted On: 
4th September 2018

Ukip’s leader has called on potential British army recruits not to join the forces until after Brexit, over anger surrounding serving troops wearing EU flags on their sleeves.

Gerard Batten became Ukip leader in February after an uncontested election, but later vowed to quit next year
Credit: 
PA Images

Gerard Batten expressed concerns after footage appeared to show UK soldiers disembarking an aircraft in Bosnia sporting European Union flags on the right arm of their uniforms.

Ministers announced in June that around 40 military personnel from Britain would be sent to the country with other EU troops in a bid to combat Russian meddling in a presidential election in October.

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They form part of the 600-strong European Union Force under the direction of Nato.

An outraged Mr Batten said British troops were “no longer fighting for Queen and Country”, but that they were “under a foreign military command”.

He took aim at former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who previously dismissed fears held by some that British forces could be drawn into a united European army if the UK remained in the bloc.

“Nick Clegg once said that the idea that the EU was developing its own military was a 'dangerous fantasy'. This news has revealed Nick Clegg to be the fantasist,” Mr Batten said in a statement.

“No one should now join the British Army until we have left the EU and this has all been reversed. Our soldiers are no longer fighting for Queen and Country but under a foreign military command. 

The MEP said past generations “did not fight so that their descendants could serve under the flag of a foreign power."

He added: “The sooner we are out of the EU, the sooner we will be able to rebuild our military into a force which serves the interests of our nation first and foremost.

"Meanwhile British men and women should vote with their feet and not join the armed forces."