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Baroness Ashtons Eu Diplomatic Army Dwarfs Anything Our Own Foreign Office Could Muster

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Baroness Ashton Elected By No-One

Run by a £313,000-a-year New Labour apparatchik who hasn't been elected by a single voter

Baroness Ashton, the obscure Labour quangocrat and Blair-appointed peer who last year was surprisingly nominated by Gordon Brown to be the EU’s foreign secretary

The full staggering scale and cost of the European Union’s new global diplomatic corps can be revealed today.

The so-called European External Action Service (EEAS) will have an annual budget of £5.8 billion and an army of ambassadors across 137 embassies, with up to 7,000 Eurocrats trained to pursue the EU’s foreign policy.

It will be run by Baroness Ashton, the obscure Labour quangocrat and Blair-appointed peer who last year was surprisingly nominated by Gordon Brown to be the EU’s foreign secretary – even though she has never been elected by British or European voters.

The former treasurer of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, whose official title is High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will launch the EU diplomatic corps on December 1 at her sleek new headquarters in Brussels, which will cost £10.5million a year in rent alone.

The new corps – revealed as Prime Minister David Cameron was accused of a ‘Vichy-style’ betrayal for caving in to a 2.9 per cent increase in the EU’s total annual budget – will dwarf Britain’s Foreign Office, which employs 4,863 diplomats.

Perhaps significantly, the biggest diplomatic mission will be in Turkey – with 132 staff – which hopes to join the EU. The next biggest will be in America, where the EU will have 124 diplomats in Washington and New York.

The EU will have a surprising 46 diplomats on the Caribbean holiday island of Barbados, 49 in strife-torn Pakistan, 57 in Vietnam, 95 in Ukraine, 31 in Yemen, 29 in Tajikistan, 92 in Morocco and 53 in Madagascar.

In Afghanistan there will be another 85 diplomats, 96 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 91 in India and 113 in Russia.

Burkina Faso will have 59, Costa Rica 21, Egypt 90, Vietnam 57, East Timor 20, Djibouti 18, Mauritania 46, Mauritius 39, Namibia 26, Papua New Guinea 27, Laos 26, Sudan 58, Paraguay 16, and Swaziland 16.

Hague’s ‘betrayal’ over the new army of diplomats

William Hague was last night accused by Tory MPs of ‘betraying his party’ by backing the new £5.8 billion EU diplomatic service when the Foreign Office has been hit by a 24 per cent budget cut.

Rebels are angry that the Foreign Secretary ordered Tory MEPs to support the formal creation of the European External Action Service – arguing that voting ‘no’ could have led to a reduction in its powers. Tory backbencher Douglas Cars¬well said: ‘There has been a change of Government this year, but no change of policy.

We disgracefully backed the creation of the EU Foreign Service and are now literally paying the price.

It is clear that the party does not want to see any further transfer of powers to Brussels. The question is whether Mr Hague has the political will to do something about it. We need to realise the extent to which Ministers cannot drive policy – they are just apologists for diplomatic failure, with the real decisions made by officials in the Foreign Office.’ Another MP said: David Cameron and William Hague have betrayed the party. It is as simple as that.

A spokesman for Mr Hague said: ‘We did not support the establishment of the EEAS but it, like the rest of the Lisbon Treaty, is now, regrettably, a fact.

It has now been agreed the EEAS will supplement our foreign policy. We have also made sure that the EEAS is budget-neutral, so it shouldn’t cost the country anything extra.

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s defiant rebuke to the federalist ambitions of Jacques Delors, then the European Commission President. Addressing the Commons just a month before she was ousted as Tory leader, Baroness Thatcher said: ‘Monsieur Delors said at a press conference the other day that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community, he wanted the Commission to be the Executive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to be the Senate. No! No! No!

At least Maggie stood up to them. ;)

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