We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The European Union could be “pushed” into strengthening military ties across the continent in the event of Donald Trump securing a second term in the White House, according to the French MEP. Thierry Mariani suggested President Trump’s isolationist policies would serve as a “wake-up call” for Brussels to seek alternatives to the NATO defence system. Speaking to France 24, Mr Mariani said: “I think it will be a chance for Europe. Europe will exist…there will be a day when we have a common defence or common foreign affairs.
“For that, we need to have stronger force together and if NATO, little by little, is less present in Europe maybe some country will push the defence effort.
“I think it’s a chance for Europe and that’s why I think it’s in the interests of Europe to have less American troops inside the continent.”
President Trump has had a rather patchy relationship with the EU and its members, repeatedly expressing criticism over the failure of some nations like Germany to live up to NATO investment requirements.
Earlier this year, Mr Trump announced the US would withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany and redeploy them back home or across other bases in Europe.
Mr Mariani insisted a second Trump term could help the continent seek more independence from the US and establish itself as a leading power on the international stage.
He continued: “As an MEP from France, I’m thinking what is the interest of Europe and what is the interest of France.
“Thinking about the history of Europe, I hope that Donald Trump will be re-elected. I don’t think like an American citizen, I think like a European citizen.
“What is my dream? I entered politics dreaming like General de Gaulle of an independent Europe.
READ MORE: Joe Biden hammer blow as Donald Trump ‘twice as likely to win as he was in 2016’
He added: “And I think that, under Donald Trump, America was more isolationist and it pushed Europe to take a more independent position and I hope that, if Donald Trump is re-elected, it will be a chance for Europe to become more independent.
“To take a different place on the international scene and it could be a wake-up call for Europe.”
The incumbent US president has also locked horns with France on matters of trade and sparked the ires of President Emmanuel Macron with his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accords on climate change.
A potential re-election of President Trump could therefore heighten the tension between the United States and European leaders because of his open opposition to the EU.
DON’T MISS:Could Donald Trump quit immediately if he loses the US election? [ANALYSIS]Biden fury as Trump ‘could be handed power even if he loses’ [UPDATE]Trump victory! Political scientist claims US President WILL win [LATEST]
Nigel Farage, who is a friend of the President and one of his most outspoken supporters, already signalled Mr Trump is unlikely to renounce his criticism of the bloc if he wins the election.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Farage said: “This guy is a big eurosceptic, a believer in Brexit.
“What Donald Trump sees is a European Union in which, from north to south, east to west, people are saying ‘why are we being governed by Brussels?’
“He sees me as a forerunner for the argument that a Europe of nation-states is the way forward, not a Europe governed by the European Commission.”
See today’s front and back pages, download the newspaper,
order back issues and use the historic Daily Express
News – EU Army plans back on table if Donald Trump secures US Election 2020, French MEP warns