The UK Government has confirmed it has offered to contribute military assets to EU operations, cooperate on sanctions and agree joint positions on foreign policy as part of a ‘deep security partnership’ with the EU after Brexit.

In what the government are calling ‘a renewed demonstration of the UK’s commitment to European security’, the latest partnership paper signals their willingness to partner with the EU on defence matters.

According to the UK Government:

“It makes clear the UK will seek to use our assets, capabilities and influence to combat the shared challenges facing the continent —- including illegal migration, terrorism, cyber and state-based threats and amounts to a security partnership ‘that is deeper than any other third country and that reflects our shared interest’.

There is a significant amount of collaboration between the UK and EU on defence, security and development already.”

The paper lays out how the government want to build a new partnership with the EU that ‘goes beyond existing third country arrangements’.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis said:

“After we leave the European Union we will continue to face shared threats to our security, our shared values and our way of life. It’s in our mutual interest to work closely with the EU and its member states to challenge terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, cyber-crime, and conventional state-based military aggression.

Today’s paper highlights Britain’s world class diplomacy and defence capabilities, our leading contribution to international development, and our desire to continue to use these as part of a deep and special partnership with the EU.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

“As we leave the EU, the UK’s commitment to European security is undiminished. We will pursue a global foreign policy, and continue to work in partnership with our neighbours to promote peace, democracy and security in our continent and across the world.

In recent years, the European Union has helped achieve crucial foreign policy goals – from bringing Iran to the negotiating table, to uniting in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. We want this EU role to continue after we leave.

This is why, in addition to stronger relations with EU member states, we also envisage a strong UK-EU partnership on foreign and defence policy following our departure. This will allow us to continue our work in tackling the shared challenges we face worldwide.”

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“At a time of increased threats and international instability the UK remains unwavering in its commitment to uphold European security. With the largest defence budget in Europe, the largest Navy British troops and planes deployed across land, air and sea in Europe, our role in the continent’s defence has never been more vital.

As we leave the EU, the UK and our European allies will ensure a close partnership that meets these shared challenges head-on.”

The paper highlights the UK’s military cooperation with the EU on tackling piracy off the Horn of Africa, to joint defence projects — including the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The UK has the largest defence budget in Europe, and is the only European country that meets both the NATO target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence, with 20 per cent of this on equipment, and the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) on international development.

Read the UK Government paper on Foreign policy, defence and development here.

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Why are we helping them to undermine NATO?

geoffrey james roach

We’ve had joint agreements with various European armed forces since the war. Who said anything about undermining NATO?


Geoff, all of Europe and it’s dog knows that when the EU became a military alliance in 2007 it was with a view of undermining NATO.

Europe doesn’t need and cannot afford to have 2 x military mega-bureaucracies vying for scant resources!

Dealwith it

The stitch up begins , we said LEAVE

Dear George and team, Excellent website and a very useful resource for information, presented in a very usable way. Thank you! We would also like to congratulate you for your efforts on social media to correct the misinformation so prevalent about our military. Just one little beef if we may? We appreciate that you may not exactly be pro-Brexit, but might it not be reasonable to draw your readers’ attentions to the fact that the government paper you are writing about has caused an uproar in some circles? Or at least to mention that it has been warmly welcomed by… Read more »


What veterans group? We’ve had this on here before, if you’re talking about the veterans group that was set up just before the referendum with the strict aim of a leave vote then how would that be impartial? What a silly contribution, begging the author to write “it caused some uproar” that would be the case if it’s actually causing uproar. How embarrassing. Anybody that is against this is so off the mark on how Britain has always operated in Europe. Do you actually think we are going to go against 300 years of policy and just turn a complete… Read more »

That’s a fairly emotional response, Kieran, and we’re not sure why you focus straight in on a veterans’ group when the main point was about the government’s Brexit paper on defence, and its content. Clearly you and we will never agree, but we’re unsure why you think we’re ignorant. We don’t make that assumption of you, merely that you may not be aware of all the latest developements, or that if you are aware then you see things through a very different prism for some reason. Anyway, we made the point that this paper is controversial, so we’ll leave it… Read more »


Yeah we will, and yes it is quite an emotive response because I find it disingenuous to say “veterans groups” when me and you both know the sole group we are talking about is veterans for Britain, A highly political, pro US, group of veterans only formed for the EU referendum. Of course they are going to be against this paper. What you’re asking is like a newspaper reporting a 3-0 Man Utd win but then saying it has caused uproar in some circles because a Man City supporters group are unhappy about it. It’s just not the way things… Read more »

Oh dear. We write a post about a government paper which we happen to think is extremely important, and you keep harping on about one reference we made about veterans and then being aggressive towards us again.

We think ‘poor form’ is being hostile for no reason, but there you go.

If you want to inform yourself more then there are plenty of articles on our site about this subject. The conversation with you must now close.


“How on earth would contributing to an alliance with Germany and France be a bad thing.”

If only there was an organisation, an organisation by treaty comprising of the nations of the North Atlantic?
They might meet in Brussels and act in each others mutual defence.

Alas Kieran, it seems no such treaty of North Atlantic countries exists eh!


You seem to have got Europe and the EU confused for some reason.


That’s an incredibly short sighted view Pete.


It makes perfect sense to maintain close defence links with our European neighbours. I mean why wouldn’t we ?
France and Britain are Europe’s two leading military powers and we need to continue our cooperation which has been built on in recent years.
Recently HMS Albion visited the Netherlands & British and Dutch marines, who have close links to begin with are planning a series of joint amphibious training excercises over the next few years.
Surely that’s all good ?


Wasn’t the UK already in defence partnership via NATO?

What does the UK have to contribute to the EU military alliance that cannot be done via NATO?


@Joe. Well quite a lot, and it doesn’t matter frankly whether assets are badged EU or Nato right now, the sad fact is that there are not enough of them. Anything that helps Europe improve its defence capabilities is to be welcomed

Ben P

Sounds like good news. It was pretty obvious that we would not be abandoning Europe on the defense front. Most things defense wise will remain the same post-brexit with the exception of us not getting any deeper in to the EU army initiative.


It’s good that we maintain the those links. But if the European Union continues their self destructive pathological need to ‘punish’ the UK for daring to leave, then we mustn’t hesitate to use that support as leverage, and if nessecery recall our support. Why should we support the defense and security of the EU when they actively try to destroy our trade and prosperity?

David Stephen

Could not agree more. Why should the UK be only the party to concede any ground in the negotiations? If they play ball then continue close cooperation but if they play funny buggers then withhold that support.

Ben P

Why? It is as simple as, the defence of mainland Europe is the defence of the UK.

Ben P

It is kind of like how the US still stations alot of military assets in Europe even though European nations dont contribute a great deal towards it. This is because if Europe fell to the Russians the US would have to get involved anyway to guarantee its own security, therefore it is better to forward deploy assets so it can be there at the beginning rather than after the fact. Kinda like a WW2 scenario.


For what it’s worth I don’t believe they are actively seeking to destroy our prosperity. The EU and Germany especially is committed to the concept of community and acceptance of the need to make sacrifices for the common good and will act in defence of this principle. If it means VW and BMW profits fall because their products go out of fashion or become unaffordable in the UK then so be it. We must be careful not to demonise the EU. That way lies suspicion and conflict.


“We must be careful not to demonise the EU”then i suggest they stop playing silly buggers and demonising us.

Mr Bell

A deep and meaningful security relationship with the EU. That will be NATO then in other words. The EU is a sad late comer to European security and mutual defence, only now being voiced by Junkers and all his champagne sipping cronies as a viable defensive union.
sorry Junkers, not an original thought, NATO came first and has precedence and viability. EU has neither.

Mike Saul

Nothing should be done to undermine NATO. The cornerstone of our defence for 70 years

Through that organisation we can share our defence and security with European allies and friends.

The move towards a unified European state and that entails is one of the main reasons we are leaving the EU, a EU military structure is unnecessary and therefore the UK should not get involved in it.

I think it is right the UK is leaving the EU given the direction of travel of that organisation towards a federal state.


Given Mr Trump’s seemingly ambivalent attitude to NATO and the EU’s federalist EU armed forces and foreign policy ambitions I think this statement is very constructive. The UK still wields significant diplomatic influence wisely, and the more we can back this with military strength the better. Brexit Britain could hold the key as it has done before to keeping the west together in the face of negative forces.

David Steeper

Just a thought but can anyone tell me what the EU has ever contributed to our security ? I wait with baited breath !


@David. Okay. Economic cooperation helps defence security. Always has. post 1945 that was the fundamental reason behind the ECSC, and then the EEC with the 1957 Treaty of Rome in the first place. And the EU is contributing to our security now and will be when we leave (in our self-inflicted stupidity of Brexit) by creating a strategic E European buffer to possible future Russian bounce back. Either the countries of Eastern Europe fall in Moscow’s orbit – or that of Berlin. That is one of the defining lessons of European history. Allowing them into the EU gives them clear… Read more »


I’m glad it’s mostly smart and sensible comments here regarding this. Quite a few people are asking what’s the point if we already have NATO, the answer is the US, they consistently make bad foreign policy decisions, Libya and Syria to name just a few, that are actually hurting Europe, and that has made some European leaders think that perhaps they should be in charge of there own security and detach themselves from Washington. NATO was started as a mutual defence organisation, now we get involved military and we have patrols and joint units etc. NATO expansion to Russia’s borders… Read more »


Europe trying to play Athens to Americas Sparta has only one ending. The US has viewed Europe as a clear and present danger instead of Russia before. It can do so again. That is the only result in the EU forming a military alliance. Being seen as a threat greater than the Russian Federation. Considering the foreign policy behavior of many of the European states. It would be inevitable. From their behavior over Vietnam to Israel to the Korea to the Middle East and South America and numerous other places. European opposition and vilification of America and Americas allies has… Read more »


What ending is that then Elliot? Please tell me how you think it’s going to end. What would be inevitable? You constantly talk in riddles when you’re talking about geopolitics. America is not going to do a god damn thing about it because it can’t, Western Europe isn’t the Middle East or Africa, you don’t have a single say in the direction we go, all you can do is try to have an influence as an important ally, we’re talking about states that existed a thousand years before America was even an idea, have some respect. You’re absolutely drunk with… Read more »


“European opposition and vilification of America and Americas allies has been tolerated”

Tolerated? What would happen then if you stop tolerating it? I’m intrigued here, what would you do to get Britain to back every American foreign military policy?


I am not drunk with American power. Unlike you I have seen it up close and personal. Just as I have felt the effects of European betrayal of the United States. Despite large sacrifices on their behalf in equipment, lives, and time. Europe has been shielded from the effects of its moral proselytizing to the US and its allies. Not to mention Russia and the Middle East for to long. Has the US withdrawn its men over Vietnam, South and Latin America, and the Middle East. Despite European nations howling like a stuck pig over every and one of those,… Read more »


Barbarians? Nice one ?

You’re embarrassing your country.


No just pointing out how euro trash thinks of us. We are not their hired help. And we should not be subsidizing Europe for the privilege of dying for them and the added benefit of hearing their constant criticism.

Mr Bell

Some of our EU allies (although I prefer to think of these nations as NATO allies) do contribute towards our defence such as the French and Spanish contributing MPA aircraft to cover our capability gaps. The EU however as a institution does nothing for the uk other than restrict sovereign rule, democracy and take our taxes, whilst giving sod all back. The negotiations are proceedding as I knew they would. Huge exit bill, we are not willing to pay. Started demands with a £120 billion bill, now EU is asking for £60 billion. Answer is simple, no sod off! UK… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

As always I find myself agreeing with the views of Mr Bell.


And on the EU, many of us find ourselves disagreeing 😉 best Tim