Nigel Farage says there will 'always be peace in Europe'
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The US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan has sparked renewed calls for an EU army. But Mr Farage warned Britain, which left the bloc last year, must not take part in any joint military force.
The GB News presenter, who has a prime time show on the new channel, said Brussels had “always wanted” an EU army and was using the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan as an “excuse”.
Mr Farage also highlighted a 2014 debate he had with Nick Clegg, who denied the EU wanted its own army during the fierce clash.
The former Brexit Party leader cast doubt on whether plans for a united military force would work as he said member states are “not prepared to pay the money”.
But Mr Farage insisted that if the bloc does decide to create its own army, Britain must not join it.
The GB News host told Express.co.uk: “I’ve always opposed a European army. I’ve opposed us being in one.
“Of course, they’re using the damage Biden has done to NATO as an excuse to do this.
“But they’ve always wanted an EU army.
“I challenged Nick Clegg on this publicly on a head-to-head debate in 2014 where he absolutely denied emphatically that it was ever going to happen, but it is.
“I don’t think an EU army would ever work. I don’t think any of them are prepared to pay the money.
“But whatever they decide to do we must not join it, absolutely not join it.”
Mr Farage’s comments come after two senior EU officials urged the bloc’s governments to set up a rapid reaction force.
Speaking earlier this month as EU defence ministers met in Slovenia to discuss the fallout from Afghanistan, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: “It’s clear that the need for more European defence has never been as much as evident as today after the events in Afghanistan.
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“Sometimes something happens that pushes history, it creates a breakthrough and I think that the Afghanistan event of this summer is one of these cases.”
General Claudio Graziano, chairman of the EU military committee, added: “The situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Sahel show that now is the time to act, starting with the creation of a European rapid reaction force, able to show the will of the Union to act as a global strategic partner.
“When if not now?”
Meanwhile, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt insisted an EU army was “common sense”.
In a tweet last month, he said: “Afghanistan once more shows armies are crucial to the security of our citizens & allies abroad.
“EU countries need to do that together: cooperate & integrate forces so our people, interests & values are protected.
“Think beyond taboos or caricatures: an EU army is common sense!”
Since 2007 the EU has had two battlegroups of 1,500 soldiers but they have never been used due to funding disputes and reluctance to deploy.
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