General view taken during a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on November 22, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORINFREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

The European Parliament has backed plans to create a defence union which will secure structured cooperation between nations as well as a new EU military operational headquarters.
Lawmakers at the European Parliament voted 369-255 in favour of the proposals, which also calls for greater spending by nations on defence.
Although the vote is not legally binding it does represent support for the proposition before the European Council meets in December to discuss Europe’s defence capabilities. 
Urmas Paet, the former foreign minister of Estonia, drafted the report and told The Independent he was glad Parliament had made a clear statement on how European defence should now develop.
“There are more and more risks to Europe related to terrorism, Russia, the Middle East and North and Central Africa,” Mr Paet said.
“[Currently] if there is some crisis emerging and you need to move military personnel and equipment from one European country to another, then it will take …