Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2017-03-15-Speech-3-505-000"
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"Madam President, it is often claimed in this Chamber that the EU has secured peace in Europe since the Second World War, and it is often pointed out from these benches that in fact it is NATO that has preserved peace and freedom. In fact, even as someone who has campaigned vigorously for Britain to leave the European Union, I have still acknowledged that, for a time after the Second World War, having France and Germany engaged in a joint political project was indeed a useful support to NATO in maintaining peace. But I would hope everyone in this Chamber would equally acknowledge that, in cold hard terms of armies and military hardware and nuclear deterrence, it was indeed NATO that shielded Western Europe from the threat of external attack. So what a shame that now, in the second decade of the 21st century, NATO seems to be out of fashion with European politicians. Most governments do not honour their commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence, and the US has grown tired of bearing a disproportionate burden. So I am afraid the opportunists of Brussels are seeking to acquire another element of nationhood: an EU army to add to the flag, the Parliament, the anthem and the currency. This idea of a common defence identity is pure folly. You do not have sufficient social solidarity, nor commonality of interest, to support the financial bailouts necessitated by the euro, let alone the shedding of blood in military combat under an EU cap badge. By far the best thing would be to re-engage with NATO, meet your defence spending pledges and allow Britain to be a bridge to a US administration that has certainly had some tough things to say of late. Stick with the entity that has stood the test of time. Do not let an ideological dream, that is not shared by most people in Europe, put the security of a continent in jeopardy."@en1
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