Tory MEPs fight plans for EU Army

Tories in the European parliament were battling plans for what they branded an EU Army yesterday, as two separate schemes were put forward about harmonising defence spending and strategy.

Greek MEP Maria Eleni Koppa called for defence policy and military planning harmonisation, with a pooled budget to fund military operations.

The annual report would also create an EU operational military command centre.

Meanwhile, a report on the EU industrial base was approved by the European parliament.

"We reject outright the expensive and pointless idea of creating an EU military headquarters, just so that the EU's political class can play soldiers and battleships," Conservative defence and security spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden said.

"Time and again we see that Europe's federalist wing is desperate to turn the EU into some sort of global power with all the trappings of statehood – including a defence capability. It must not happen".