UK will block EU defence proposals

Britain will resist new European Union defence proposals if it feels they undermine NATO, British officials say, in a warning to France and Germany that London will defend its military interests even as it negotiates to leave the EU bloc. Paris and Berlin proposed last week reviving EU common defense plans long blocked by Britain, partly to give the bloc a sense of purpose after Britons’ vote to quit the EU and also to counter the loss of the union’s biggest defense spender. Those plans include a joint and permanent EU headquarters for civilian and military missions, possibly in Brussels, which London says will drain away finite resources when NATO already has its military command center, also in Belgium. Most EU members, including Britain, France and Germany, are also NATO allies. But Europe wants to be able to act independently of the United States in its neighbourhood. While not proposing an EU army, Paris and Berlin see security and defense cooperation as one of the few areas where the remaining 27 EU governments could find common ground and show that the EU is still relevant after a British departure”.

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