UKIP MEP James Carver said it was “frustrating” to watch the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee vote in favour of a dedicated budget and more tools to strengthen the union’s foreign and defence policies.
As one of just a handful of dissenters, Mr Carver opposed the creation of an EU defence budget, to which member states would be asked to devote two per cent of their GDP.
The committee, which met on Monday, also wants a director-general for defence within the European Commission to be considered, to co-ordinate defence initiatives and also to facilitate the free movement of troops and equipment within the EU.
Mr Carver, who represents the West Midlands, said: “This is a further step towards the creation of a European Union Army, which I believe would be a very worrying development, giving rise to further federalism and neo-colonialism.
“We should, instead be supporting peace keeping organisations such as NATO and the UN.”
The committee also argued for a change in the voting system to force member states to speak with one voice in the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
Instead of unanimity, when everyone has to be in agreement, the committee advocated qualified majority voting – a system of weighted votes – which Mr Carver fears would “silence any opposition to a particular issue being voted on”.
He added: “Those campaigning for a second referendum should be horrified by this accelerated drive towards ever closer European union, as it destroys the credibility of their argument that a European super state is nothing more than a figment of the imagination of Brexiteers. - Clearly this vote and report, precisely underlines that we've been proved correct."
The committee’s resolutions will be debated and put to the vote at the December plenary session in Strasbourg.