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Britain 'committed' to European security despite Brexit

Britain 'committed' to European security despite Brexit”

The UK wants to continue contributing troops and military assets to European Union operations after Brexit as part of closer defence co-operation with the bloc, according to a new Government paper.

Britain says it wants close cooperation with the bloc on defense and foreign affairs, including joint foreign-policy positions and cooperation on sanctions.

The defence proposal is the latest in a series of papers setting out the UK's negotiating positions.

Underlining that Britain has the largest defense and development budgets in Europe, officials will press what they consider to be one of their strongest arguments - that the government can offer defense and security support to the EU.

In her letter formally triggering Brexit in March, Prime Minister Theresa May warned that failure to reach a Brexit deal would mean "co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened".

It said Britain would look to use its assets, capabilities and influence in a security partnership that is "deeper than any other third country and that reflects our shared interest".

It also says Britain - which voted to leave the European Union in a referendum past year - must settle the divorce terms first before discussing a future trade deal.

"The UK is unconditionally committed to maintaining European security", the paper said. A United Kingdom government official said there is still a discussion underway over the next round of talks and noted that the dates published at the start of the process were always only indicative and subject to change.

"After we leave the European Union we will continue to face shared threats to our security, our shared values and our way of life", said Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis.

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.



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