- Title: EU's defence and security not threatened by Brexit, Mogherini says
- Date: 31st March 2017
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (MARCH 31, 2017) (REUTERS) MEMBER STATES FLAGS OUTSIDE NATO HEADQUARTERS SECURITY OFFICERS
- Embargoed: 14th April 2017 12:42
- Keywords: EU Britain Brexit budget defence security NATO Mogherini Tillerson
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016AAJOEF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Union's Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Friday (March 31) talked down the effect Brexit would have on the bloc's defence and security, seeking to counter a veiled threat from London that it could curb such ties if divorce talks go sour.
Britain, which this week formally launched the unprecedented process of leaving the EU, wants simultaneous talks on Brexit and its future ties with the EU of 27, especially on trade.
EU states and their political capital Brussels are much cooler to the idea, seeing the future trade deal with Britain as a strong bargaining chip.
Mogherini said Britain was currently providing for three percent of the bloc's foreign civilian missions and five percent of the military ones, adding that the EU defence and security could continue perfectly well without its contribution.
Britain, however, is a leading European military power, with the biggest defence spending in the EU. Along with France, it is the only EU state that has the capacity to run large-scale foreign military operations on its own.
Britain intelligence is also powerful and it is the only EU state with access to the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence pact with the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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