Von der Leyen warned Brexit Britain to weaken EU attempts to expand global influence

Brexit: EU will miss UK's defence and security role says Powell

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been warned the European Union will see some of the “bigger differences” in its global role over defence. Former Thatcher adviser Lord Powell insisted the UK played a pivotal role in dictating Brussels’ approach to foreign policy and Brexit will likely lead to a “weaker” stance on defence and security for the bloc. Speaking to Chubb, Lord Powell said: “Where I think they will find a bigger difference is in the whole defence/security role and the foreign policy role.

“I think it’s fair to say that Britain has always been at the forefront of foreign policy in Europe since it joined the EU precisely for the reasons I have already given.

“We’re used to thinking globally, we’re used to acting globally.

“In defence we are, amongst all the European members of NATO, the one who spends the most on defence and the one who has the most sophisticated equipment and so on.

“And it’s a bit the same on the intelligence side.” 

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Lord Powell insisted the European Union could experience some issues in maintaining a strong global position unless Brexit Britain is allowed to rejoin some of Brussels’ key security institutions.

He added: “We are certainly better at intelligence than any of the other European countries are.

“They are going to be weakened by our departure unless they’re prepared to bring us back in in some of their institutions and the way they do these things.”

Under the Brexit agreement struck between the UK and the EU last December, Britain is no longer party to the bloc’s defence mechanisms.

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Brussels’ High Representative Josep Borrell admitted Britain’s departure from the bloc would have a significant impact on how the EU shapes security policies.

Mr Borrell noted: “With Brexit, nothing hets easier and a lot gets more complicated.

“How much more complicated depends on the choices that both sides will make.”

While both sides have expressed an interest in continued cooperation, no agreement has yet been reached on how Brexit Britain and the European Union will work together in the future on matters concerning defence and security.

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The UK and the EU’s new relationship has already come under question amid concerns about the status of Northern Ireland and the implications for the nation’s role in the kingdom.

Under the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland has effectively remained a member of both the customs union and the single market in an attempt to preserve the Good Friday Agreement.

But demands from Brussels of extensive border checks have been met with fury from the British Government, who has insisted the bloc abandon its “purist” interpretation of the protocol currently in place.

While an attempt was made to resolve the issue in May, the UK ultimately requested and obtained a three-month extension to the grace period agreed with Brussels as negotiations continued to end potential disruption once checks are implemented more extensively.

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