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Plans for future Defence co-operation with EU needs clarification

8 June 2018

The Defence Select Committee calls for further clarity from the Government on how Britain will co-operate with the European Union on Defence issues during and after Brexit.

Its latest report, entitled, "The Government's proposals for a future security partnership with the European Union", examines the EU's plans for Defence co-operation, the mechanisms being constructed to put this into practice and the circumstances under which the UK Government plans to engage with them after Brexit. It includes a timeline of the proposals and describes the intended shape of Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO), the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the Co-ordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD).

Questions for the Government

The Committee identifies sixteen key questions for the Government to answer, covering inter alia:

  • How future cooperation with EU Defence institutions will be different from the UK's current Defence relationship with the EU.
  • Under what circumstances the UK would take part in a CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) operation or mission.
  • What model the Government is proposing to ensure that the Future Defence Partnership supports the effective co-operation of UK and EU Defence companies; does not disrupt complex supply chains; and does not disadvantage leading companies with EU-UK ownership.
  • What role the Government plans to play post-Brexit in the relationship between the EU and NATO.

The full list of questions can be found here.

Chair's comments

Chairman of the Defence Committee, Dr Julian Lewis MP, says:

"It is vital that Parliament fully understands what the Government is proposing for its Future Defence Partnership with the EU after Brexit. Our Report sets out everything we can glean, so far, from the Government's public statements and identifies key areas where more clarity is essential. These include whether the UK will decide to participate in future military missions with the EU only on a case-by-case basis and only if we are then able to participate fully in the planning and execution of such missions. We trust that the Government will use its formal response to our detailed questions as an opportunity to shed more light on its intentions."

Further information

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