EU and UK should cooperate on defence after Brexit, says new report

  • Giada Negri
  • 23.12.2017 18:07

According to a report by Stefano Stefanini and Wolfgang Ischinger published on 14 December in the La Stampa newspaper, the EU should offer the UK the possibility to cooperate with and contribute to European defence projects, including the European Defence Fund and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme even after Brexit.

Britain represents about one-fourth of Europe's military capabilities and is an essential player in the Southern Neighbourhood. The UK had already expressed interest in supporting stronger European defence integration and remaining involved in the European security framework. The country has also actively pursued bilateral defence agreements with European states to balance the loss of influence. While the Common Security and Defence Policy already allow non-EU countries to take part in European initiatives, future Brexit negotiation will need to define the UK influence in their decision-making. The task is challenging due to the lack of trust toward the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson, a former Brexiter, and the unpredictable result of the parliament's veto power on the final deal. Nevertheless, increased EU flexibility on defence will also benefit EU relations with other NATO countries like Turkey. 

About author: Giada Negri

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