Number 10 slaps down Boris Johnson over EU army comments

Number 10 slaps down Boris Johnson over EU army comments

BRITAIN will veto any bid by Brussels to build an EU army that would undermine Nato, despite Boris Johnson saying he was “fine” with greater military co-operation.

PUBLISHED: 22:40, Fri, Dec 2, 2016 | UPDATED: 22:52, Fri, Dec 2, 2016

Answering questions at an event in London, the Foreign Secretary insisted it would be in post-Brexit Britain’s interests to have a strong EU and that the bloc should feel free to integrate more.

But the priority was for European Nato states to meet the transatlantic defence alliance’s target for members to spend two per cent of output on defence, as the UK, Poland, Estonia and US do.

He said: “We want a strong EU and we want a strong relationship between a strong UK and a strong EU.

“It is no part of our agenda to seek to undermine or to be dog-in-the-mangerish about the EU. There’s a conversation going on now about the EU’s desire to build a common security and defence policy and new architecture for it.

“If they want to do that, fine. We are not there to block or to impede further steps towards EU integration if that is what they so desire. We are there to support and to build a strong relationship.”

But Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has insisted that the UK will continue to oppose any idea of an EU army or EU army headquarters that would undermine Nato.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Any EU defence and security proposals should complement not duplicate Nato.

“We remain members of the EU at the moment. We have been clear we don’t agree with a European defence force.”

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