Post Brexit, EU shows ‘little appetite’ for defense co-operation

Press quote (Defence News)
05 February 2020

Centre for European Reform analyst Luigi Scazzieri said in a recent opinion piece for Aspenia Online that while a close defense partnership may emerge at some point, it is unlikely to in the near term.


“Boris Johnson’s government appears cautious of seeking a close relationship with the EU, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arguing that it had other options,” Scazzieri said.


“The withdrawal negotiations showed that [EU] member states have little appetite to grant the U.K. the status of privileged EU partner, in large part because they fear other partners such as the U.S. could then ask for the same close relationship and level of access to European defense initiatives," he continued. “Moreover, many member states remember the U.K. as highly skeptical of European defense, blocking European defense initiatives for years, and therefore see no reason to risk recent progress by giving London a privileged role.”

“Co-operation is increasingly likely to take place outside of the EU framework,” Scazzieri said, pointing to the EU framework involving Germany, France and the U.K. that helped coordinate policy toward Iran as an example. “The E3 could gain further prominence post Brexit, as long as the U.K.’s foreign policy stance remains aligned with France and Germany.”