Ex-Brussels boss Juncker calls for EU Army and freedom of movement

Brexit: Nigel Farage says the UK can ‘deal’ with EU army plans

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Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested that the EU should have its own army in a move likely to rile Brexiteers. The ex-European Commission president complained Brussels is reliant on the US and insisted it needs to “reorganise” in the face of Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

On whether the EU needs an army, he told tonight with Andrew Marr on LBC: “We are still relying on the US. Without the US, we are not really existing in military terms.

“But I do think that the European pillar of the NATO alliance has to be strength.

“I do think that we have to reorganise because the war has changed everything in Europe.”

Mr Juncker also called for the UK to reintroduce freedom of movement with the EU despite Brexit.

The former EU boss said: “I had negotiated an arrangement with David Cameron, on the freedom of movement of workers from the continent to Britain.

“This arrangement was never mentioned in the referendum campaign. I spent hours, nights, days, weeks, months, with David Cameron and his colleagues on all these issues, and we had an arrangement, but it was not defended by the British government.

“Yes, we should have with Britain, a normal relationship and that includes this a kind of freedom of movement for workers.”

But Mr Juncker ruled out Britain one day rejoining the bloc.

He said: “I don’t see any chance whatsoever and wheresoever and whensoever to see Britain re-join the European Union.”

The former European Commission president described Rishi Sunak’s new deal with the EU over Northern Ireland as a “real breakthrough”.

He said: “After the adjustments which have been brought, after the Windsor agreement, to the withdrawal agreement, it’s finally a fair deal between Britain and the European Union.

“There is no room for unfriendly manoeuvres between the UK and the European Union.

“We are close friends, we have spent a long time together inside the framework of the European Union with ups and downs.

“And now, this is more than a relation between European Union and third countries, is the relation between the European Union and the former member of the European Union, let’s not forget about history.

“For me, Britain was never, even after having left the European Union, a third country like all the others.”

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