UK defence chief rejects calls for EU army

Posted On: 
13th November 2016

The UK’s Chief of Defence Staff has dismissed calls for an EU military force, arguing it would create "duplication" with Nato.

Sir Stuart Peach has said "duplication" of forces is unnnecessary.
PA Images

Sir Stuart’s comments follow European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker's calls for a new “community of defence”, adding that Europe is currently too reliant on the US.

“We do not support duplication. That is our collective position; it is not to have a duplicate structure, duplicate headquarters and duplicate forces,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

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“We remain committed to the European Union as a member at present and I predict that in the future we will be committed to a role in support of security in Europe.

“Nato remains the collective organisation and has done for nearly 70 years.

His remarks come after suggestions that Donald Trump could ditch America’s leading role in Nato, unless other Western countries contribute more financially.

In a newspaper article this morning, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg appealed to the president-elect not to weaken America's role in global security.

“I’m very clear that the armed forces in the United Kingdom are the cornerstone of the alliance. We play a leading role in a number of missions and we’ll continue to do so," Sir Stuart said.

he added that relationship with the UK and US armies is “very important” and said both countries need to present a united front to “project stability”.