(Tom Edwards - Worcester News)
A WORCESTERSHIRE MEP has savaged calls for an EU army - saying it is another reason why voters were right to back Brexit.
UKIP's James Carver has attacked growing pressure from Eurocrats to forge a deeply controversial EU military, calling it an insult to Nato.
Last year European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared that a common European army was needed to keep the continent safe, saying the bloc is not "taken entirely seriously" in the world.
Hungary and the Czech Republic say Brexit means it must now become a reality, and last month German's defence minister called for a "European defence union" and said the idea should be explored further.
Mr Carver, who is based in Worcester, says since the Brexit vote the West Midlands' MEPs are becoming increasingly concerned about the rhetoric coming from officials in Strasbourg and Brussels.
The idea has seemingly progressed from a fantasy to something EU leaders are intent on progressing.
Mr Carver, who is UKIP's commonwealth spokesman in the European Parliament, said: "All this talk about it just underlines everything that was said during the referendum campaign, about the birth of an 'EU defence'.
"I don't want anyone of military age in this country, young or old, having to join an EU army, it would be a terrible step.
"It would actually weaken Nato and lead to the politicisation of the EU, which is of course what they want
"It's a very bad idea and needs to be resisted as we free ourselves to a far better future outside the EU."
Anxious officials in Brussels are said to be preparing more detailed military plans which would see countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland create a permanent defence deal acting on behalf of the 28 - but soon to be 27 - EU member states once Britain leaves.