A security blueprint charting a path to a European Union army will be agreed by Euro-MPs on Thursday.
The plan, which has influential support in Germany and France, proposes to set up a “Synchronised Armed Forces Europe”, or Safe, as a first step towards a true European military force.
The move comes as France, a supporter of an EU army, prepares to rejoin Nato and to take over one of the Alliance’s top military posts. General Charles de Gaulle withdrew French forces in 1966.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, the Conservative European defence spokesman, warned that British ministers are “in denial”.
He said: “They are sleepwalking towards a European army and seem to have little awareness of what is going on.”
The EU proposals, drafted by Karl von Wogau, a German MEP, envisage a “dynamic to further development of co-operation between national armed forces so that they become increasingly synchronised – this process [should] be given the name Safe”.