EU state of the union: Juncker warns UK on single market

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reassured that the bloc is not at risk from Brexit, according to BBC News.

Mr Juncker said an EU military force would be a complement to Nato
Mr Juncker said an EU military force would be a complement to Nato

And he warned the UK that it could expect access to the EU’s internal market without free movement of people. There could be no “a la carte access”.

Mr Juncker also called for the formation of a common military force.

“We must have a European headquarters,” he added.

The UK has always resisted the idea of a so-called EU army because of the potential conflict of interest with Nato. But its decision to leave the bloc has given added impetus to plans for greater defence co-operation.

“This should be in complement to Nato,” Mr Juncker said. “More defence in Europe doesn’t mean less transatlantic solidarity.” A European Defence Fund would stimulate military research and development, he said.

He criticized attacks on immigrants in the UK and expressed his refusal to accept violence against Polish workers in Essex. He called for a renewed focus on the union as a driving force for unification, citing Cyprus as an example. Additionally, he highlighted that Europe represents peace, noting the correlation between the formation of the European community and the longest period of peace.

Tusk warning (Juncker warns UK)

EU leaders meet in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava on Friday – without UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Donald Tusk, the leader in the European Council, intervened in the EU’s future debate, urging the Union to consider its ambitions and prioritize member states, according to a letter he sent to leaders ahead of a summit.

“The institutions should support the priorities as agreed among member states, and not impose their own ones.”


There were several other themes in Mr Juncker’s speech, including:

  • He proposed extending the EFSI and creating an investment fund for Africa, highlighting the Union’s role in maintaining stability and sharing economic burdens.
  • He urged protection for unaccompanied minors migrating to the EU, emphasizing the need for solidarity in the Union.
  • Promoting security including strengthening the EU’s borders and promoting greater security co-operation between member states.

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