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Armed with speculation


 The truth behind this weekend's stories

Over the weekend you may have come across stories suggesting a creation of a "private army" at the European Parliament. The facts are, as per usual, slightly more mundane than the colourful headlines will have you believe.

Yes, the security budget of the European Parliament is projected to increase next year. This increase is a responsible answer to recent events across the EU including the terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016. A proportion of the budget will also be dedicated to infrastructure and IT security. Nothing really surprising.

Like any other public institution the European Parliament already has security personnel present at its premises, including protection for the President of the European Parliament. Nothing that could be compared with a "private army", unless you would use this wording to describe similar situations in all kind of public and private institutions all over the world.

The papers suggest that the budget will be an important aspect of the negotiations between the U.K. and the EU. This is true although it hardly justifies the papers turning a handful of security officers, with very small economic impact, into "an army".