Macron makes huge Brexit swipe at ESA summit
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Plans for a new “European Security Council” are being drafted by EU member states Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. Reports suggest Britain will be asked to head this security organisation, which will gear itself towards countering future geopolitical challenges.
The countries behind this believe placing Britain at the top would be a good way of bringing the country “back into the fold” after Brexit, according to the Telegraph.
One senior European diplomat told the paper: “Continental leaders need to say we’re sitting down, and it would be great if you [Britain] say down with us.”
But numerous British officials have urged caution, suggesting the plans are not all that they seem.
Chris Parry, a former Royal Navy warfare officer and aviator, warned Mr Johnson to be more than wary about the potential proposal.
He wrote in a post on Twitter the offer “is not an olive branch”.
Instead, he insisted: “It’s a poisoned chalice.”
Former Tory MEP David Bannerman was much of the same opinion, writing in response to the offer: “No thanks.”
One-time candidate for Tory MP Christopher Howarth went into a little more detail, highlighting that Brussels was intending not merely to improve UK-EU relations but to shift the cost of security elsewhere.
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He wrote: “The EU wants to tie the UK into shouldering the costs of defending Europe while they take the credit.”
John Longworth, a pro-Brexit former MEP, added that the offer paved the way for a “new organisation [and] new danger”.
He said: “Britain must be very careful with this, beware Germans bearing gifts.
“How can we trust the EU while they are at the same time trying to annex Northern Ireland?
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“What do we gain?”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Emmanuel Macron also has concerns about the proposals, though these come from a starkly different position.
The French President would not like to see Britain heading the new group because he still has a “chip on his shoulder” over Brexit, according to reports.
This comes after Mr Macron was asked to head his own NATO “battlegroup” in Romania in order to strengthen the organisations “deterrence and defence” amid the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
Reuters reported the group could be made up of around 1,000 troops from different countries.
Discussions over a new “European Security Council” are in the early stages, with more details expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
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