German Chancellor Angela Merkel was heckled in the European Parliament this afternoon when she spoke about the merits of a European army.

Mrs Merkel, who is the 12th leader to address MEPs on the Future of Europe, said a vision of one day creating "a true European army", which would supplement NATO was needed.

She quoted the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, who said some years ago that a common European army would show the world that there would never again be war in Europe.

Unperturbed by the heckles, she said the voices of protest showed that she hit the nail on the head.

Mrs Merkel, who has seen her party's popularity decline in recent years, spoke of the need for solidarity among European countries, particularly in relation to migration.  

She said in 2015, it took far too long to realise that the issue of refugees was a "whole of Europe issue", not just for Germany and "it's a common European task."

She said migration problems with third countries needed to be combated to ensure that people have their living conditions improved at home, because these are often the conditions that lead them to flee to Europe.

Mrs Merkel, who recently announced that this will be her final term as Germany's chancellor, said national egotism should no longer have a position in Europe.

On Brexit, she described the UK's exit from the EU as "a deep wound" and she thanked the parliament's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for the work he has done so far.

President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker said the UK vote needed to be respected and Britain played a major role in Europe's liberty and freedom.

He described the UK's decision to leave the EU as a tragic, historical error and a mistake.

However, he said the best had to emerge from it, adding "the European Commission with Michel Barnier is moving in that direction".

Mr Juncker said he was particularly struck by what Mrs Merekl said about Africa, which he added is "an issue" for Africa and Europe.

He reiterated previous comments that both needed to work together in solidarity and friendship.