Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, January 17th, 2019

EU Defenses Post-Brexit Starting to Take Shape

EU Defenses Post-Brexit  Starting to Take Shape

SOFIA - A broad European military strategy involving Britain after Brexit has started to take shape with France at its center, often in negotiations far from the Brussels spotlight and, in one top-level EU meeting, without the U.K. defense minister.
Despite an impasse over how to start formal negotiations with Britain on a new defense and security relationship, France is pushing a two-track approach that it discussed at a weekend gathering of EU defense ministers in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on May 5, even though Britain’s Gavin Williamson did not attend.
France supports a bigger role for Spain in EU military missions to fill the hole Britain will leave, while it will offer London a place in a new French-led European “intervention force” to keep Britain close in military cooperation.
Meanwhile, a group of Britain’s closest EU allies, led by the Netherlands and Belgium, signed a paper in Sofia pressing for London’s swift inclusion in the bloc’s new flagship defense pact, agreed in December. That would allow British industry into lucrative EU military projects, albeit on a selective basis.
Spain and Estonia said they also want to see Britain in the Galileo satellite program that the EU is developing to rival the U.S. Global Positioning System, despite rules that prohibit sharing sensitive information with non-EU states. (Reuters)