Updated: Jan 17, 2018
"Permanent Structured Cooperation" is the framework introduced via the Treaty of Lisbon allowing military integration. It requires a small number of EU member states to kick start the procedure.
A member state can join or leave as they wish, however that maybe easier said than done.
Members opting in will become dependent upon each others Armies in order for the structure to be effective.
23 EU member states have opted into Permanent Structured Cooperation, only 5 opted out. Which will add up to 4 when BREXIT occurs. Malta may still join the process, but for now is observing with an open mind.
The EU Defence Union will likely be aligned to NATO and attempt to rival the USA from within it. This could go well or result in huge diplomatic spats.
May it spell the end of NATO?
The EU wants to be the same height as the USA in global terms, the USA is the leader of the free world, for now...
Can we have 2 leaders of the free world?
Will the EU and USA shake hands and go separate ways?
Where are the UK's allegiances?
In 2010, the Anglo - Franco Defence Pact was born. David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy signed the historic deal which encompasses:
A Joint Aircraft Carrier Task Force
A Joint Expeditionary Force
Joint Equipment Procurement
Joint Nuclear Development
There are more...but those are the main elements which embody the Anglo - Franco Defence Pact, it was hailed the closest military pact in history and has already seen operations in Africa.
Have you heard of it?
Could the Anglo - Franco Defence Pact be the UK's stealthy back door entry into "Permanent Structured Cooperation" as France is 1 of the 23 member states that signed up.
France and Germany are the chief cheer leaders of this process, France will be a major player, the only Nuclear Power in the EU.
We have been a member of NATO since the beginning, we maintain a "Special Relationship" with the USA.
We may find ourselves stuck in the middle of rival superpowers with no option but to choose our alliance!
The EU, the USA, the Open Seas...or do we turn to the Commonwealth?