An MoD official has outlined the proposed terms for the UK’s participation in EU defence agencies and bodies.

The information came to light when Peter Kyle, Member of Parliament for Hove, asked in a written Parliamentary question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether it is the Government’s intention to seek (a) continued participation of the (i) European Defence Agency and (ii) European Defence Fund or (b) to be part of Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO).”

Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:

“The proposed terms for the UK’s participation in EU agencies and bodies until the end of 2020 are set out in Article 128 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

As outlined in the Political Declaration, the UK will seek an Administrative Arrangement with the European Defence Agency (EDA) that would enable us to participate in EDA projects and programmes where it is of mutual benefit, to further our defence cooperation opportunities.

The Political Declaration provides the option for the UK to participate in capability projects through the European Defence Fund, subject to conditions in Union Law. Any UK participation in EDF projects would be aligned with our requirements and represent value for money.

The UK has not joined Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), but recognises its potential to support increased defence investment in Europe and the development of capabilities that contribute to NATO. The Government is scrutinising the current list of PESCO projects to identify which of those we might have an interest in, or be able to add value to, as a third country. Our future participation is subject to the rules governing third country access that are still being negotiated by PESCO Participating Member States.”

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John Mitchell

A good political statement by Parliament. In plain language, “We have not yet made up our mind, when we do, we may change it”


So it looks like it’s ok for the French to shaft us in joint defence projects whenever it suits them.
Better to partner with Japan, USA, Canada, Australia etc.
As for Europe. We saved them from Bonaparte, The Kaiser, Hitler, and Communism. Look at all the gratitude we get in return.


Being close to European defence projects would help retain some employment in the UK. However, as long as these interests are supportive of NATO we should be involved. That said, any participation with the new EDF (or whatever it’s called), we should continue to decline any interest, as it could deny NATO of our total commitment?


Can you clarify which partnerships we have with any of them? Canada/Australia joined on the frigate program, after we put all the money in to design them. Effectively benefiting from our investment. We do the same with the US, we join their projects, they however never join ours and always buy local. Japan we have an investment in one missile. On the flip side, yes European defence projects have not always gone smoothly but we are equally as bad as anyone else with pulling out or changing our ideas (e.g. type 45 etc) Looking at only the negatives of european… Read more »


Spot on steve

Alex T

My dear chap you are so right!


Good show dear boy!


It’s virtually a content-free answer as far as I can see. Since as I understand it the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), if it gets approved by Parliament, has a transition period until end 2020 I assume the first bit of the answer is probably effectively saying no change until the end of that transition period. The bit that then goes on to talk about what is in the Political Declaration (PD) is essentially meaningless since that is merely a list of aspirations rather than anything legally binding. The EU could easily backtrack on anything during the negotiation/transition period and refuse to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Good post Julian. May’s deal is appalling. Which is of course intended. I’m pleased you mentioned the “transition period” because many of our most dishonourable MP’s and media have conveniently forgotten it, bearing in mind we are apparently going over a cliff edge in March. Actually the cliff edge is further on, during which we could get a FT agreement, if the EU wanted, which of course they won’t. It’s all water off a ducks back now as I have no belief any more in the political class nor any belief more than hope that Brexit will happen the way… Read more »


Back on you soap-box again I see! Hopefully, our dishonourable MPs will continue to do their duty and argue for the best deal for Britain. Pie in the sky futures should be left to the dreamers…..there were plenty of those in 1930s Germany. You seem to want to raise Brexit at every point….are you related to a certain Scottish troll by any chance?


This article directly relates to Brexit and Britain future in Europe!?!?!?

Daniele Mandelli

Herodotus. I’d agree with you if out of nowhere I’d mentioned the B word. If you can be bothered to read the posts previous above I was replying to Julian who mentioned the Withdrawl agreement. And added my opinion to his. Funnily enough, Julian is a die hard remainer. Said so himself once. Yet I have utmost respect for how he posts and am able to have a conversation with him without the pompus self important crap you seem capable of writing. Lee1 and Julian1 are others whom it’s possible to debate and agree to disagree. Is it natural for… Read more »


Many thanks for the kind words Daniele. I also have great respect for your posts even though we fundamentally disagree about what would have been best for the U.K. re Brexit. Right now I just want to see some progress towards decisions that actually move us out of this shadow of uncertainty because uncertainty is helping no one. We need to get this Brexit stuff behind us so that we can start building the future rather than spinning our wheels in what feels like a real life Groundhog Day and going nowhere.


“May’s deal is appalling. Which is of course intended.”

Spot on 🙁

Daniele Mandelli

Having read the link.

I’m curious as to why Denmark opted out?

Mr Bell

Because they are a sovereign nation and Denmark knows only too well what happens if Germany aspires towards and acheived dominance over Europe alongside their French lapdogs. Denmark is at least savvy enough to know that the guarantors of their ongoing freedom reside in NATO not the EU.


On the NATO point agreed, which then naturally leads to the real question – if Denmark took that stance then why didn’t the U.K.? We have many other opt-outs and have never really been in favour of federal Europe as a majority view or a government position (Thatcher “no, no, no” and many subsequent vetoes and robust debates) so an opt-out on the EDA would have seemed quite natural. Maybe the U.K. took the position that it was better to be sitting at that particular table to monitor what was going on and halt or slow down undesirable stuff as… Read more »


Too long-ago for both sides I feel. It was a tragic situation. The South Africans’ came up with the best solution, truth and reconciliation. Learn the lessons and move on!

john martin

Truth in Ireland no I do not think so.


“The South Africans’ came up with the best solution, truth and reconciliation. Learn the lessons and move on!“ – Obviously you haven’t been reading anything about South Africa recently. Clearly it did not work and South Africa is on they way to becoming Zimbabwe 2.0 only with more famine and death on the way. What with has been dubbed “Land Reform” (better known as expropriation without compensation), a crumbling infrastructure caused by endemic corruption and kleptocracy, a economy entering depression which wil only be worsened by capital flight once the seizure of property begins. All “truth and reconciliation” did was… Read more »


You’re mixing up two very different things. The truth and reconciliation (T&R) stuff was about defusing racial tensions. There was genuine concern amongst many South Africans that the 1994 elections would result in a bloodbath of retaliation, whites murdered in their beds as payback for the NP apartheid era, etc. T&R helped diffuse those tensions. The subsequent kleptocracy is indeed an alarming and disheartening issue, driven by deeply dishonourable people getting into power and looting the state hence the crumbling infrastructure and many other economic issues. Although there are problems SA is not Zimbabwe yet and SA can still avoid… Read more »

Mr Bell

Time to move on. Facts are that IRA and Unionist terrorists have been forgiven and not investigated or prosecuted for their actions during the troubles. Same should be applied to the legal combatants as the illegal combatants.


the problem is that if the police dare investigate someone they go ohhh discrimination blah blah blah when they are criminals that need to be taken of. Ive been the bog side, only once(its a strong nationalist area in Derry/Londonderry) and have went to the museum there and it was one of the most biased places id ever been to, you could see the hatred in the owners eyes, in all fairness he lost someone on Bloody Sunday. I believe he’s involved in the case to try and persecute these soldiers. But I went to the siege museum(orange order) in… Read more »


As someone from both sides of the coin, knowing lots of people on both sides, being of both irish catholic and British protestant descent(although my irish family were always pro british and have many family who served in the forces in the wars) I can sort of stand back and see both sides. The way I see it if IRA terrorists, yes terrorist, even most in Ireland think so can get away with genocide, not just murder, then how come these people who were just there because they were order to by the people now prosecuting them are now being… Read more »


“from both sides of the coin” How is having just unionist family “both sides of the coin” ? That statement proves you don’t have a clue about the conflict in Ireland. You’re making out like the conflict is a religious one, it’s isnt, it never has been, Wolfe tone, one of the founders of Irish republicanism was a Protestant, the Belfast brigade had Protestants in it, there were thousands of Protestant IRA members. The Irish conflict has and will always be political, nationalists who want a united Ireland vs unionists who want to remain part of Britain. Was there discrimination… Read more »


I come from an Irish Catholic family, who are nationalists and proud to be Irish and not British, although historically we’re happy with the UK, going back a bit, my other side is Protestant British from England. And unlike you, I grew up about 20 miles from Derry(I usually call it Derry) in the Republic, I think I am aware of what I am talking about. I am fully aware of the discrimination that went on to CATHOLIC people in NI. As for why there isn’t discrimination in the rest of the UK, that’s because of the type of orangemen… Read more »


“being of both irish catholic and British protestant descent(although my irish family were always pro british” “I come from an Irish Catholic family, who are nationalists and proud to be Irish and not British” Which one is it? The Irish conflict is not anywhere classed as a religious conflict, it’s a political conflict with religious aspects. You talk about the troubles began due to the Catholic civil rights movement, but the reason the Unionist paramilitaries were set up was because they thought the Catholic civil rights movement was a front for Irish republicans wanting a United Ireland, and they were… Read more »


My mums irish catholic, my dads english protestant, i grew up in a catholic area, which is everywhere in the south! There was without a doubt political aspects but let me tell you in the 50s and into the 60s people would have preferred a united Ireland but for the most part people were happy, and when the British army first rolled on the streets in 69 the catholics and nationalists were happy to see them, they would go out to them with tea and biscuits when they were on the street and they were seen as a neutral force,… Read more »


Is writing ill informed nonsense a common thing for you?

Donald Tusk was elected into his current office in 2017 and jJean Claude Junker was elected into his office during 2014. The democratic process for their election is a short Google search away!

Considering we live in a country with a heriditary head of state and an unelected upper chamber saying the EU is undemocratic is comical!

Steve Taylor

Unlike Tusk HM Queen has no direct impact on the UK’s political life.

The Lords have been neutered since the Parliament Act of 1911.

One is truly comical is EU apologists talking utter crap constantly. If you don’t like it here leave.


It is not about being an apologist for the EU it is about correct falsehoods about it.

The Commision is elected, Tusk and Juncker are elected FACT!

The Queen is not elected or the Lords

Watching our nation go from being an influential power at the heart of Europe into being a vassal state begging any sordid deal we can get whilst being an international laughing stock offends me.

I might well leave, but that time hasn’t come yet


Correcting falsehoods


The great thing about this country is that it has never like being told what to do, as was seen with Brexit;) The EU is no longer simply a trade agreement, even then how dare Britain forget about its old allies in the rest of the world, especially the commonwealth. The EU has now become a disguised federation, what other free trade agreement needs a parliament? courts? constitution? army? united taxation(soon)? army(soon)? anthem and flag? And if things keep going things will get worse, people say stay in and reform but thatcher tried, blair tried, brown tried and cameron tried,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli


I agree.

Usual thing now after exchanges like that is that they run and hide rather than go over point by point what you raise.

Or you’re shot down with generalisations, comments on Nazi Germany, and Pie in the sky accusations.

Real Strictly stuff.

Careful with insightful well thought out and spoken posts like that…you may be accused of getting on the soapbox….

And do keep it up. It really gets up their noses, which means it is hitting home the truth.

They hate that.

Geoffrey Roach

I think you’ll find that the House of Commons (elected) has at various times voted to have a Constitutional Monarchy and a House of Lords made up largely of life peers. The E.U. parliament is elected, nothing else is, certainly not the Commission where all the real power is. Overall the answer is simple. If it benefits the U.K. do it. If not we don’t


WRONG! The Commision IS ELECTED! It has been so since the Lisbon treaty was ratified and put into action.

The process is a short google search away!

We have an unelected head of state, an unelected upper chamber and an utterly archaic parliamentary system that operates on presidence rather then written rules.

Our nation is in desperate need of comprehensive constitutional reform yet people still bang out falsehoods about the structures of the EU as if they are received truth!

Geoffrey Roach

When you “shout” wrong at someone you should fist do two things. 1) read ( can do? ) what I said and (2) get the facts of your reply right , otherwise folk will think your just ranting.


The Commission is not elected.

“Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, and the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, and then appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament.”


No idea who this Fedex person is! Better have a word with him about Napoleon.

Is total ignorance of how our and EU institutions common for you?

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Fedaykin.

Just to say that although I disagree over the EU with you I agree absolutely that our system needs serious reform.

That means the Lords and FPTP replaced by PR.

Daniele Mandelli

PR which would have given UKIP 90 odd MP’s I believe in 2015.

Oh the Irony! Mr Heredotus below would then really be able to stand up for the honourable MP’s getting a good deal for Britain!

The hypocricy is hysterical.


RGR, You really are an objectionable twat….

Alan Garner

Something from me on the EU commission being elected. this is NOT true! EU commissioners, which make up the commission, are proposed by the EU council. They hold all the executive power within the EU and are the only people within it that can propose legislation. No unelected body in any western democracy has this power.

Hope that clears things up slightly.

Daniele Mandelli

We know Alan.

I don’t recall having a vote for the president of the EU!

Because there wasn’t.

No one had heard of Von Rumpy until Nigel Outed him!



“The great thing about this country is that it has never like being told what to do”

The US has been telling us what to do since the Second World War.

Daniele Mandelli

Still holds true though Sole.

Just because HMG dances to the foreign policy of the United States that does not mean the people do.

And this whole Brexit shambles is about the people, is it not? And democracy, and sovereignty. Not opinions on whether we will be richer or poorer.


Depends which way you look at that i suppose, the US tell our government what to do and the government represent us so.. Also our armed forces have died and retreated because of another countries wishes. We get told what to do on a daily basis by our own government, our bosses at work, our wives haha Brexit for me has never been about getting told what to do because of those examples above, it’s silly to think like that to be honest, it’s meant to be about opportunity, about making ourselves better, surely any decisions we make as a… Read more »


Just seen you’re reply Daniele, and thank you ?


Why can no one spell Keith?

Geoffrey Roach

Hi Keeef…just picked up again on your earlier post and agree with what you say. The E.U. is like some crazy monster fungus, started no doubt with all the best intentions but has got out of control. I voted remain originally but the more I learn of the intentions of the E.U. and not just those in news items the more I like the idea of freedom. Am I right? God knows.

Daniele Mandelli

Lol Geoffrey.


Always good to get input from the CBeebies spokesmen

Tony King

I don’t know whether Brexit is entirely good or bad. There are certainly countries in Europe who very happily exist outside the EU while the UK losing close access to a 500 million person market seems like an own-goal of sorts. What a lot of us who live in other countries don’t understand is a. Why is it such proving to be such a battle to sort out a positive outcome for the UK properly? and b. Why on earth do you want or need an expanded presence on the world stage? Why more bases? Ships in the South China… Read more »


I’m just going to duck the Brexit discussions not because I don’t think that you make some valid points but frankly I’m worn down by the whole thing. I suspect many of us in the U.K. who have been immersed in the ongoing debates since before the referendum campaigns even officially started probably feel the same. Finally something that unites many leavers and remainders! On the cyber/intelligence comments, I very much agree. In UKDJ’s defence though, I suspect that the big reason why the coverage of those areas is so sparse here is not disinterest or a lack of understanding… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

“lack of understanding of its importance but simply the fact that so much is classified” Very much agree with that Julian. I also agree with the disappointment at the lack of content on Intelligence and Cyber, an area that interests me greater than the conventional forces. One can actually discover plenty on the intelligence side as often with HMG the left hand has no idea what the right is doing. You can discover things but you have to research, incessantly, and look closely. “but if GCHQ was about to invest £100m in a program to develop its own quantum computer… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

“even the daily canteen menu was classified information”

LOL reminds me of the classification of the carpet colour in Thames Houses restaurant. Blue apparently!

Or the fact that the Post Office Tower was a state secret, that does not exist, even though it is sitting there in Central London and photographed by thousands.
Older readers may remember the ABC Trial which included that.


Thames House restaurant carpet is blue? Did you just contravene the Official Secrets Act? You are so much trouble now Daniele!

As for the Post Office Tower, I can neither confirm nor deny your claim that it exists.


Tony King…What an excellent post….clarity from the outside. Proxy state of the USA ….probably! Crappy free trade deal with the US….almost certainly, shit food and no advantage to our economy. Emphasis on intelligence….our strong point since the Zimmerman Telegram. Why is Britain in such a ridiculous position re the EU…..because the Tories have given in to a bunch of right-wing berks with their heads up their arses. Time for change in 2019!

Daniele Mandelli

“because the Tories have given in to a bunch of right-wing berks with their heads up their arses.” That will be the many millions who voted leave? Or the majority of Parliament who are rightly not agreeing to Mays deal, who are certainly not right wing. Neither obviously. So just a cheap shot. Still with fingers in ears and eyes closed, sitting in a corner singing to yourself! Maybe come and join the grown ups and actually debate the points raised ( Look further above for my points you always run from ) Instead of hiding and getting in… Read more »


Why is this article back! Is this a cue to re-engage with the Brexit debate? Ooh you are awful, but I like you! Meanwhile I am prepping my walking boots for this months march for a 2nd referendum. Hope to see some of you on the day…will be wearing a black fedora with a [email protected]$k Brexit sticker. Happy days!


“subject to conditions in Union Law.”

Surely, if we’ve left, we fall back under UK law?

“The UK has not joined Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO),”

But the WA states that we do, as ALL Pillars are needed for this EU Defence Union to work.