Five of the six biggest countries in the EU, excluding Britain, have called for a radical overhaul of European foreign and defence policies to create a powerful new pan-European foreign ministry, majority voting on common foreign policies to bypass a British veto, a possible European army, and a single market for EU defence industries.
The German-led push, supported by 11 of 27 EU countries, embraces recent calls in Berlin and Brussels for a directly elected European president, sweeping new powers for the European parliament, and further splitting of the EU by creating a new parliamentary sub-chamber for the 17 countries of the eurozone.
While the call for a European army was not supported by all 11, the document also calls for a new European police organisation to guard the union's external borders and for a single European visa.
Nine months of brainstorming over the future of Europe by the foreign ministers of the 11 countries, launched by Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, has resulted in a 12-page document crammed with policy recommendations. It will prove hugely contentious and, if implemented, will increase the pressure on Britain to quit the EU.
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