#France to replace #NATO? Security conference boss's surprising suggestion

The nuclear deployment options of France should cover not only their own territory, but also the territory of the EU partners

Wolfgang Ischinger

But a leading pro-Brexit campaign organisation has poured cold water on Wolfgang Ischinger’s comments, and said the EU had so far proved itself “lamentably incapable” of defending itself without substantial US support. The conference will be held in Munich at the end of next week, and will be attended by among others US Vice President Mike Pence. In a magazine interview in advance of the annual event, Mr Ischinger said: "The nuclear deployment options of France should cover not only their own territory, but also the territory of the EU partners.”

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Emphasising the importance of EU member states contributing financially to the overall costs of extending France’s nuclear umbrella in this way, Mr Ischinger said it was time the EU turned into a defence union, in words unlikely to impress US President Donald .

He said: "The community must be increasingly able to protect its citizens, the European territory and the external borders.”

He stressed the bloc should not be “bogged down” by national micro-states, saying the procurement of arms needed to be organised “in a European way”.

He also called for the EU to adopt what he called the principle of “unanimity” in order to become more capable of presenting a united front when it came to foreign policy, echoing recent calls by Mr Macron for a European Army.

Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Macron has said he would like to see an EU army (Image: GETTY)

German national Mr Ischinger also said Western Europe needed to beef up its conventional defence capability, stressing his country in particular, Germany had "a particularly blatant need to catch up".

He added: ”We are

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