Commission's Brexit draft agreement does not include a defence deal

  • Giada Negri
  • 2.3.2018 13:04

On 28 February, the European Commission released a unilateral draft of the United Kingdom's EU Withdrawal agreement. The proposal does not regulate defence and security issues after the transition period but allows for a separated plan. While several international voices, including that of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, have urged a deal on defence and security, the Commission's President Jean Claude Juncker had already expressed his intention to discuss it separately from the Brexit negotiation.

The UK seeks the possibility to take part in projects funded by the European Defence Fund, and in the Europol information exchange. An agreement is crucial because the UK holds critical military capabilities and plays a role in the European defence manufacturing supply-chain. Also, former NATO Secretary Anders Rasmussen and Commander James Stavridis called for an urgent treaty on defence to avoid undermining Europe's security by driving a wedge between the UK and the continent. A solution which includes the UK influencing the decision-making in common initiatives would help appease growing U.S. concerns on NATO - PESCO interration. Nevertheless, Juncker wants to discuss the topic separately, possibly denying the UK additional leverage in trade talks, but his stance could sow mistrust and slow the deal-reaching process. 

About author: Giada Negri

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