It comes as Eurocrats try to bolster the EU’s position as a global player amid criticisms that the Paris terror attacks and the migrant crisis prove that the open borders is a failing concept.
It also emerged that Europeans face having their fingerprints checked every time they travel to Britain under new security proposals confirmed by the Home Office.
The MEPs’ vote, prompted by Finn Paavo Väyrynen, was met with incredulity last night.
“This is proof of a determined push towards ever-closer union and creation of an EU superstate.
“It would spell the end of Britain being at the heart of international defence and security at a time when the world faces an unprecedented terrorist threat.”
Conservative Gerald Howarth MP said: “It’s an absurdity. Europe is not a nation state and it is preposterous impertinence to suggest they should supplant two leading nation states which are both nuclear powers.”
It would spell the end of Britain being at the heart of international defence and security
The timing of the vote, during the run-up to a UK referendum on Europe, was particularly misjudged, said Professor Wyn Grant of Warwick University. “Both France and Britain have been members of the UN Security Council from the beginning and they are Europe’s only nuclear powers,” he said.
“The problem with the EU having a seat would be getting a consensus. Britain and France agree most of the time. The same can’t be said for the rest of Europe.”
Home Office Minister James Brokenshire confirmed that Britain is considering following France’s lead in fingerprinting EU visitors.
He said: “Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart have had a number of discussions concerning the need to fingerprint individuals at the external border of the Schengen area, as part of the strategy to manage the unprecedented flow of migrants.”