You may be aware of the Prime Minister’s speech recently, in which she sought to set out her vision for the UK and EU’s post Brexit security relationship. I wanted to blog a little about this today, as this is a crucial issue for both the UK and the remaining 27 members of the EU.
In her speech the Prime Minister made it crystal clear that we are unconditionally committed to European security. In the face of the ever evolving threats we must tackle – from hostile state activity and terrorist networks, to organised crime – as the UK leaves the EU the Government will remain committed to European security and wants to work closely with our European partners to keep all of our citizens safe.
As you may know, the UK brings formidable power to this collective effort: we are the second largest defence spender in NATO; we already have a highly developed set of global security relationships such as the 'Five Eyes' consisting of the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; we have invested in critical capabilities such as our nuclear deterrent and two new aircraft carriers; and we are a leading contributor to international missions from Eastern Europe to South Sudan. It is therefore in the interests of European security that the UK continues to co-operate fully with its European allies.
The Prime Minister has therefore proposed a new UK/EU treaty on internal security based on the three key areas of co-operation outlined above. It will require real political will on both sides to make this happen, but it is in all our interests to get this right.
We need a responsive partnership, able to adapt rapidly to new threats. We must all play our full part. The UK stands ready to do exactly that, now, and in the years to come.