UK offers EU military support and security partnership post-Brexit

UK Brexit Minister David Davis said the EU and UK should work closely together on security.
UK Brexit Minister David Davis said the EU and UK should work closely together on security.
Photo: AFP

The United Kingdom will offer to contribute military assets to European Union operations after it leaves the bloc as part of a "deep security partnership” partnership.

Britain will also cooperate on sanctions and agree joint positions on foreign policy, the government will say in its latest Brexit position paper to be published later on Tuesday.

“After we leave the European Union we will continue to face shared threats to our security, our shared values and our way of life,” said Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis.

“It’s in our mutual interest to work closely with the EU and its member states to challenge terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, cyber-crime, and conventional state-based military aggression.”

The UK is negotiating the terms of its withdrawal from the European Union, hoping to move onto trade negotiations if “sufficient progress” is made on issues such as its exit bill before October.

The defence proposal is the latest in a series of papers setting out the UK's negotiating positions. 

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said the government envisaged a strong UK-EU partnership on foreign and defence policy after the UK's withdrawal. He praised the European Union's role in negotiating with Iran and uniting in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“We want this EU role to continue after we leave,” he said.

The paper highlights the UK's successful military cooperation with the EU on tackling piracy off the Horn of Africa, to joint defence projects with the EU — including the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

It will say the UK has the largest defence budget and development budget in Europe, while it has also committed to invest at least 50% of development spend in fragile states and regions.

The UK and France are the two European permanent members of the UN Security Council and the only European countries with an independent nuclear deterrent, the paper will say, while UK proscriptions and asset freezes are the basis of many of the EU sanctions on terrorist organisations.

(Hannah Brenton,, +352 49 93 728)        

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