The United Kingdom will be one of nine current EU members signing a “letter of intent” to help formalise the French President’s vision for a fast-acting military task force not held up by the bureaucratic beast of the Brussels-based political partnership.
French defence minister Florence Parly said the nine countries – France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal – would lend their support to the rapid-response force, which is intended to be able to deploy at breakneck speed in event of a crisis.
With focus mainly on the new EU army, and the EU migration crisis, Brexit was barely touched upon, with the focus on EU/UK relations now expected to commence on Thursday.
According to a report from the weekends events:
‘Members of the European Parliament have adopted a wide-ranging report that welcomes the “reaffirmation” of the United States’ commitment to NATO and European security, and addresses Brexit, Russia and defense spending.
‘It says that despite recent spats over a host of issues, including trade, climate and the Iran nuclear program, highlighted by last week’s acrimonious G7 summit in Canada, the two sides remain “key” to ensuring NATO’s ability to fulfill its missions.
‘Even so, the U.S. is urged to “continue efforts for a better understanding of European strategic interests,” the European Union’s legislative body said.
‘In adopting the report on EU-NATO relations in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday, the European Parliament also agreed on “the need for the EU to ensure a close security and defence relationship with the United Kingdom after Brexit.”
‘The report cites a need for the EU to ensure a close security and defense partnership with the U.K. after Brexit, saying that the U.K. will remain a lead contributor to the continent’s defense as both a NATO member and a European nation, even after Brexit.’