UK citizens can’t be conscripted into an ‘EU army’

Published: 24th Sep 2019

In brief

Claim

The EU army will call up all 16 to 25 year olds to serve in an army for the European Union.

Conclusion

Incorrect. There is no EU army. There are no formal plans for an EU army. The UK has a veto on EU security and defence policy so couldn’t be forced to participate in an EU army.

 

Young British people would be called up to serve in an EU army.

 

The EU has no formal plans for an EU army, or for military conscription. The UK has a veto on EU security and defence policy so couldn’t be forced to participate in an EU army.

Claim 1 of 2

Recently, a claim about supposed plans for an ‘EU army ’ has been shared on Facebook.

We’ve seen this sort of thing before. Back in June we reported on false claims that the UK would be forced to participate in an EU army and that this would involve conscription.

The post we’re checking now claims that if the UK stays in the EU, Brits aged 16-25 will be called up to serve in an EU Army.

Firstly, the UK could not be “forced” to participate in EU military policies even if we stay in the EU.

Whether or not EU nations wish to create an “EU army”, and regardless of what that might actually entail, member countries effectively have a veto on laws about security and defence, so the UK would only take part if it chose to.

As there are no formal plans in place for an EU army, there is no requirement for British youths to serve in one.

The EU does have various policies for defensive and security cooperation. For example, under the Common Security and Defence Policy, EU countries can pool military funding and resources. The UK participates in military operations through this policy.

The EU has also established Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) a strategy which aims to “jointly develop defence capabilities and make them available for EU military operations” which the UK has chosen not to participate in.

This article is part of our work factchecking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because it’s incorrect to suggest that there is an EU army and that it would call up British youths to serve in it.

 

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