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Guy Verhofstadt‘s latest push towards a European Union army has been torn apart by Brexiteers. The Belgian MEP took to Twitter after it emerged Germany is following Britain’s lead in sending battle tanks to war-torn Ukraine following a standoff.

Mr Verhofstadt said: “Good news the campaign to free the Leopards seems to have paid off.

“A pity it was dependent on Americans. Credit to the tenacity of the Polish and others.

“Time to build a real EU defence with jointly procured EU weapons!”

But Brexiteers warned that Brussels is vying to replace the NATO military alliance.

GB News presenter Martin Daubney, a former Brexit Party MEP, told Express.co.uk: “In 2015, Remainiac Nick Clegg dismissed claims of an EU army as a ‘dangerous fantasy’. He was wrong all along – and Emperor Verhofstadt’s sabre-rattling proves it.

“As Brexit Party MEPs we listened aghast when Ursula von der Leyen laid bare her plans for an EU army in her inaugural speech in July 2019. The ‘dangerous fantasy’ was finally made a dangerous reality.

“The EU sees itself as a Poundshop NATO: masquerading as a guardian of world peace, but really it’s about ensnaring EU member states militarily, which few would ever be able to buy themselves out of if they ever decided to leave.

“As usual with the EU, it’s about power, control, money and political overreach.

“That’s why they love the spectre of an EU army: it’s not about controlling Putin, it’s about controlling member states; trapping them into eternal EU membership for military security.

“Indeed, Emperor Verhofstatdt is the dangerous fantasist. I wouldn’t trust him to run a bath, let alone an army.”

Fellow ex-Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib added: “The peace in Europe is not held by the EU, as it would have us believe. It is held by NATO.

“This has been made abundantly clear, yet again, in the Ukraine conflict. It is the US that has given the vast majority of aid and weaponry to fight Russia. In second place is our own country. If anything, the EU has been a hindrance.

“But still the EU views NATO with jealous eyes. It wants NATO’s importance reduced because it aspires to a federal Europe with the unelected EU Commissioners in charge of this new country. And, like all countries, it needs an army.

“The EU’s desire for self-empowerment at the cost of its member states is inexorably heading towards the end of NATO and its own military command. It must be resisted at all cost.”

Germany today confirmed it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks to help its forces push back the Russians following intense pressure.

The UK’s decision to become the first NATO ally to supply Kyiv with modern Western battle tanks helped pave the way for Berlin’s announcement that it is finally to follow suit with its own armoured vehicles.