UKIP MEP claims EU secretly planning to send Olympic team in 2036
Discussions have been held about entering a European Union team at the 2036 Olympics, a Ukip MEP has claimed.
Bill Etheridge, who represents the West Midlands, said the suggestion of a team comprising EU members had been the subject of "serious" debate behind closed doors in Brussels and Strasbourg.
No formal discussions have taken place, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Team GB finished the 2016 Rio Games second in the medal table behind the United States, having won 27 golds.
Germany came fifth with 17, France seventh with 10 and Italy ninth with eight golds.
British success followed the 2012 Games where 29 gold medals were won on home soil, the highest of any European nation.
According to the Telegraph, MEPs would like to see the EU team enter the 2036 Games, the 100th anniversary of the Berlin Games which were opened by Adolf Hitler.
Mr Etheridge told the Telegraph: "There have been quite a lot of conversations about it among other MEPs and it was being taken quite seriously by some of them.
"They were using the word solidarity, which tends to be code for ever closer union. It speaks to their plan to create a united states of Europe.
"I'm almost certain there was some jealousy at Britain's success in 2012 and 2016 and they want a piece of our success.
"It's a crazy EU effort to destroy national identity."