The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has underscored the necessity of cooperation and coordination among European allies. It would be wise, therefore, for the UK understand how it is to engage with a European defence policy that is gradually becoming more “communautaire”, and to seek out ways it can cooperate with this process.
The resignation of Lord Frost as Brexit negotiator and the transfer of responsibility for negotiations to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office provides an opportunity to reconsider the UK’s approach to cooperation with EU defence initiatives as a non-member state, which should include at least the following:
- Joining PESCO projects that benefit UK security (including the military mobility project, which would improve the UK’s ability to deploy forces in Eastern Europe in the event to of a conflict)
- Concluding an “administrative agreement” with the European Defence Agency
- Engagement to ensure that ownership requirements related to the disbursal of EDF funds do not discriminate against firms whose ultimate majority ownership is British.