Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-03-11-Speech-3-039-000"

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"Mr President, I have been wondering why David Cameron has been slashing our armed forces, will not commit to 2% and is happy for us not to be able to defend our islands. I think Mr Juncker has given us the answer. We are going to do it at an EU level. We are going to have a European army. When I raised this last year with the Deputy Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, he said it was a ‘dangerous fantasy’ to even talk about an EU army. I hope every Liberal Democrat voter has heard Mr Verhofstadt today, the leader of the European Liberals, crying out for militarisation at an EU level. Of course, the truth is that it is already happening. We already have a European Defence Agency; we already have EU battle groups on active service all over the world; we already have an EU navy active against the Somali pirates; and who can forget Eurocorps here in Strasbourg last year virtually goose—stepping that ghastly flag round the courtyard outside? Article 28 of the Lisbon Treaty provides for all of this. Tony Blair was right when he said the European Union is not a project about peace, it is a project about power. I think Mr Juncker is trying to seize on an opportunity. We ourselves in the European Union provoked the conflict through our territorial expansionism in Ukraine. We poked the Russian bear with a stick and, unsurprisingly, Putin reacted, and this is now to be used as an opportunity to build a European army. Mr Verhofstadt, I know that by heckling you increase your hits on YouTube because, otherwise, nobody in Europe wants to listen to you. I think you really ought to let me speak."@en1

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