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Does the EU have the power to develop a European Army, and to conscript European citizens into it?

If so, would the Northern Ireland Backstop mean that UK citizens could also be conscripted into this European army?

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    Welcome to Politics SE! Unfortunately, hypothetical questions like this are off-topic here, as it would be based entirely on speculation and not on any facts or resources available to the public. Please take the tour and visit the help center to learn what kinds of questions are on topic here, and feel free to edit your question if you feel you can make it on-topic.
    – Joe C
    Mar 16 '19 at 11:20
  • Note that the first part of the question, as reworded, is pretty much covered at politics.stackexchange.com/questions/31513 ; and the second part is still asking for speculation upon future events based upon circumstances that have yet to arrive (i.e. an agreed withdrawal, per politics.stackexchange.com/questions/33804).
    – JdeBP
    Mar 16 '19 at 17:31
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Does the EU have the power to develop a European Army, and to conscript European citizens into it?

No. It doesn't. At the moment. Something like this would require a new (EU) treaty, which can be notoriously hard to hammer and get approved by all member states.

would the Northern Ireland Backstop mean that UK citizens could also be conscripted into this European army?

The backstop has little to do with this putative EU army. Northern Ireland would have to apply the Union Customs Code under the backstop, and the rest of the UK would be in a more limited customs unions with the EU as well. (See EU FAQ on the matter.)

Do note however that (in part due to the Good Friday Agreement) some Northern Ireland inhabitants have Irish and thus EU citizenship, but this has little to do with the backstop. They will still have it even after a no-deal Brexit. After Brexit, their rights (and obligations) are going to be those of EU (or more precisely Irish ) citizens living outside of EU territory. For example they will not be entitled to have MEPs for Northern Ireland... but that's because Ireland (unlike other EU countries) doesn't allow its citizens that don't reside in (Republic of) Ireland itself to have MEPs; needless to say Sinn Fein is unhappy with this and wants a change in this respect. But I'm digressing too much.

Coming back to your complex question... it didn't take long to find out that

Conspiracy-minded Brexiters insist that, were the UK to stay in the European Union, British troops might soon be faced with conscription into a Brussels-controlled army. [...] The creation of EU armed forces, with a role in defending Europe’s borders, would signal a qualitative shift in EU policy towards territorial defence – far beyond the more limited ambition of the current EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Through the CSDP, the EU aims to be able to undertake humanitarian and rescue tasks, crisis management, and peacekeeping. CSDP does not, however, cover collective defence of EU territory.

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UK has veto rights over EU security policy: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/voting-system/unanimity/ ; if this were ever to happen it would be because the UK government explicitly agreed to it.

(The "EU Army" is one of those things that people get weirdly paranoid about, especially given the existence of NATO.)

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