Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Britain, EU announce date of next round of Brexit talks

Britain, EU announce date of next round of Brexit talks

Britain wants to contribute its military assets to EU operations after it leaves the bloc, the government will say on Tuesday in its sixth "future partnership paper", part of efforts to counter criticism by EU officials that it is not prepared for negotiations to unravel more than 40 years of union.

As things now stand Britain will remain a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, retain its seat on the UN Security Council, and maintain its position as Europe's biggest military power.

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After more than 13 hours of debate in Britain's parliament, Brexit is now another step closer, after United Kingdom lawmakers backed a second reading of the European Union withdrawal bill in the early hours of Tuesday (September 12).

The security document aims at quelling fears that Britain, which has the largest defence and development budgets in Europe, could use defence co-operation as leverage in the negotiations with Brussels. "It's in our mutual interest to work closely with the European Union and its member states to challenge terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, cyber-crime, and conventional state-based military aggression". In that she wrote: "In security terms, a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened".

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The statement further explains that only one other country has arrangements bringing it "closer than a third country" to the EU on defence, and that it Norway - "which has submitted itself to EU Common Defence Policy, EU defence industry directives, [and] membership of the European Defence Agency".

The UK and France are the two European permanent members of the UN Security Council and the only European countries with an independent nuclear deterrent, the paper will say, while UK proscriptions and asset freezes are the basis of numerous EU sanctions on terrorist organisations. So this paper will say that we want a future partnership in which we can continue to collaborate with our European partners on defence research and capability development post-exit'.

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Along with France, it is also the only permanent member of the UN Security Council and the only nuclear power in the European Union - giving it a central role in the continent's security.

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