A Liberal Democrat MEP’s enthusiasm for giving even more powers to the EU has seen him call for it to have its own FBI-style law-enforcement agency - with sweeping powers to intervene in criminal investigations across the continent.

In an interview with America's NBC news website, Bill Newton Dunn the East Midlands MEP, insisted that a Europe-wide police force was necessary to counter cross-border crime - and even claimed the move would save money. The proposal was described as "federalism gone mad" by West Midlands MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

Miss McIntyre, a member of the European Justice and Home Affairs Committee and the West Midlands Conservative spokesman, said:  "This is a prime example of Liberal Democrats letting their federalist ambitions get the better of them."

"Lib-Dems seem to believe that the EU must be turned into a European super state with all the trappings of statehood - president, foreign policy, diplomatic service, army and police force."

"The answer to the problems of cross-border crime are closer co-operation and co-ordination between national forces, and more-sophisticated sharing of intelligence. Not a huge Europe-wide bureaucracy and police force."

"You can imagine how our own excellent police service would react to a Euro-FBI barging in with powers to over-rule them, to interfere in their work or even take over their investigations. That is how the FBI operates in the USA."

"Europe does not need a federal police force modelled on the FBI  because it is not a federal state."