Published On: Fri, May 11th, 2018

EU news: Juncker using Trump’s Iran withdrawal to push for EU army | UK | News


The European Commission President has launched several stinging attacks to Washington while other EU leaders offer up more pragmatic responses to situation.

Mr Trump removed the US from the 2015-agreement which was designed to prevent Iran from building an arsenal of deadly nuclear weapons.

The deal, which was also signed by Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, lifts economic lifted tough economic sanctions which were crippling Iran.

Instead, the US President promised a wave of new trade sanctions, which has worried European firms who do business with Tehran.

In response, Mr Juncker told the Flemish regional parliament in Belgium that it was time that the EU replaces the US as a world leader.

The top Eurocrat said: “At this point, we have to replace the United States, which as an international actor has lost vigour, and because of it, in the long term, influence.”

Mr Juncker, speaking at a separate event in Florence, also had harsh words for Mr Trump’s tactics on the world stage, including a dig at the recent war over steel and aluminium tariffs between Brussels and Washington.

The Commission President told the 2018 State of the Union conference: “The Lisbon pact allows us to take decision with unanimity but also with a majority.

“It will be important to redefine the decision-making mechanism to matter on the global exchequer.

“The world needs to see a strong Europe and we will do our best so that this strong Europe will be seen.

“We’ll try to extend our trade agreement with other parts of the world.”

This provoked a furious response from British MEP Mr Hookem, who is also Ukip’s defence spokesman.

He argued that Mr Juncker’s attacks on Washington are all part of a plan to justify the creation of a European army which operates under the EU’s flag.

Mr Hookem said: “This is further proof that the EU is looking to build a United States of Europe and replace its consistent nations as a single representative on the world stage.

“Rather than examining the parts of the Iran nuclear deal Trump is objecting to and using diplomacy to find a way forward; the EU is simply using the US withdrawal from the agreement as further justification to ramp up its diplomatic and military might.”

With Britain seemingly open to becoming a member of the EU’s deepened military defence cooperation pact – PESCO – Mr Hookem expressed fears British troops could be sent to war by Brussels.

The MEP also argued that siding with Brussels on the Iran nuclear deal puts us up against our much-needed Washington ally.

He added: “Despite the British people voting for Brexit, our Government continues to pledge its commitment to structures that will see the birth of an EU army, with continued development of an EU-commanded rapid reaction force.

“How long will it be before we see British troops ordered into battle by Brussels and commanded by EU officers?

“The simple fact is, as a strong, independent and sovereign nation, we cannot allow our foreign policy to be dictated to us by Brussels, especially when it pits us against our strongest ally on the world stage.”



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