Theresa May imagines a future EU-UK partnership in defence

In her Munich speech, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a new EU-U.K. security treaty that would allow London to continue participating in European Defense agency and the British defence industries to participate in the European Defense Fund. And what else ?

Cooperation with the EU

British Prime Minister began her speech with a wish: “We want to continue this co-operation as we leave the European Union” because it is in the interest of the U.K “Europe’s security is our security. And that is why I have said – and I say again today – that the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining it”.

How to cooperate ?

Theresa May recognized that the challenge is to find the way to work together “ through a deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU. She means a real partnership without “competition between partners, rigid institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology to inhibit our co-operation and jeopardise the security of our citizens”. She would like a new kind of partnership or agreement in security. Thus she takes her inspiration with the strategic relationships between the EU and third countries in other fields, such as trade. “And there is no legal or operational reason why such an agreement could not be reached in the area of internal security”.

She asked for an open and inclusive approach to European capability development that fully enables British defence industry to participate. It means an access to the European Defence Fund and the European Defence Agency. She also quoted Eurofighter Typhoon, which is a great example of European partnership and has supported over 10,000 highly skilled jobs across Europe.

And if the cooperation is not possible ?

However, if the UK and the EU do not succeed to find an agreement on security issues, Theresa May gave in her speech some examples of what could happen (or not):

  • Extradition under the European Arrest Warrant would cease. Extradition outside the European Arrest Warrant can cost four times as much and take three times as long.
  • It would mean an end to the significant exchange of data and engagement through Europol.
  • It would mean the UK would no longer be able to secure evidence from European partners quickly through the European Investigation Order, with strict deadlines for gathering evidence requested, instead relying on slower, more cumbersome systems.

Now: imagine or guess what the EU would like after Brexit in the defence sector ?

Credit photo: @MSC / Kuhlmann, Theresa May (Prime Minister, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) speaking at the Munich Security Conference 2018, 17 February 2018

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