Money will fund research into unmanned aircraft, air-to-air refuelling and other projects.

It is understood that Brussels is finalising these as Britain removes a significant obstacle to increased defence co-operation among its members.

The Guardian reported here:

“The European Union is mulling a €1bn (£870m) defence fund, as Britain’s impending departure raises hopes of deeper military cooperation in the bloc. The EU’s executive arm will outline plans on Wednesday for a fund to pool research into new military technology, such as drones, air-to-air refuelling planes and cyber-defence systems.

In an implicit challenge to Britain as it heads for the EU exit, the European commission will say that no single EU country – not even the largest – can afford to develop the most costly military equipment alone. “The development of a new generation of many major defence systems is today beyond the reach of a single EU member state.”

The Financial Times say that when the union puts forward the plan, the European Commission will rely on treaty provisions that give Brussels the right to take “any useful initiative” to promote co-ordination between member states to promote the bloc’s industrial competitiveness.

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joe
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joe

Hasn’t the European Defence Agency been doing this for years?
There are numerous EU defence agencies nowadays, created in the decade since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

One might nearly get the impression that the EU wants to replace NATO.

Mr J B
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Mr J B

EU is not going to replace NATO for anyone other than a core of say 9 Western European nations (Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Denmark). The Eastern European nations and NATO members will still cling desperately to NATO support to offset the threat for Putin’s Russia. European defence integration will only work if they can agree to bring unique national capabilities to a wider balanced unified force. Such as French carrier strike- (France need’s a second carrier), Dutch Amphibious forces- now a weakened remnant of what was once a capable small marine corps, German air defence destroyers/… Read more »

chris
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chris

So let me get this right? An organisation that was founded on the premise that mutual trade is the best way to enhance everyone’s lives and bring peace to a Continent now needs a military budget? Can we assume the trading ideology has failed then? And for what? Given NATO is the only organisation that has kept the peace in Europe since WWII (despite the EU making that claim) and then thanks only to the generosity of the USA, and less so but also the UK, what is the point of creating yet ANOTHER military layer if it is nothing… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Spot on Chris. Pray May wins tomorrow and the UK gets a firm, secure Brexit, in its entirety.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Agree the EU is moving towards ever increasing integration all under the yoke of unvoted for Commissioners whose wishes and desires for domination are supported by the German wish to once again control Europe. The EU is not a democracy, we will as a nation take a huge economic hit for daring to leave the EU before we were dragged into an unelected superstate. I think in the long run the UK will be fine but we will experience considerable pain. There is no way our so called friends and allies in the EU will let us leave with favourable… Read more »