As Brussels hails its “historic” march towards an EU Army, five nations are holding fire on committing to an alliance which could lead to a ‘two-speed’ defence union in competition with NATO.

So far 23 EU nations have agreed to join forces as part of a defence cooperation pact, driven by France and Germany whose leaders have long-campaigned for greater integration amongst member states.

The agreement will add yet another convoluted deal to the bloc, with some nations taking part while others do not.

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