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There are five main areas which the EU has been pursuing in order to establish what it calls
an ‘EU Defence Union’ across the 28 countries, including Britain.
1. Procurement policy and incentives.
3. Intelligence, Battlegroups and PESCO.
4. UK defeat over HQ.
5. Contradicting statements over UK involvement.
So far since ‘Brexit’, the (un)establishment has agreed with the EU to:
● More power for the EU to enforce EU-wide tendering in defence contract;
● An expanding remit for the EU over defence industrial strategy and joint-built assets;
● An expanding remit for the EU in purchasing and conduct of joint-owned assets;
● Incentives for UK defence companies to engage long-term with the developing
EU-wide industrial strategy.
● The creation of the EU’s first central military budget, the European Defence Fund;
● The use of European Investment Bank money (16% UK shareholding) for the
European Defence Fund;
● The creation of a Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM) to augment the European
● The creation of a Coordinated Annual Review of Defence (CARD), a mechanism
which sees the EU offer financial incentives for adherence to EU planning over
member state defence budgets.
● An increased size, scope and infrastructure of the EU’s military intelligence agency
as a central ‘hub’;
● Participation in a 2019 EU Battlegroup under EU Council control. Approval given
pre-referendum. No confirmation from MOD about whether it is cancelled or
● Drop objections to Permanent Structured Cooperation (first version of permanent
military unification) by willing member states. MOD will not confirm whether the UK is
staying out or not.
● The reordering of EU agencies to include ‘permanent planning’ of EU defence
missions and a ‘coordinated military command chain’;
● The creation of a permanent military HQ with staff responsible for strategy and
operations. It was kept as a non-executive function of the EU, but executive power
over EU military developments rests with the EU Council and EU Commission;
● Drop its objections to the wordings that describe the new HQ (May 2017) because
previous approval in March 2017 had made later objections invalid.
● Participate in measures that apply to UK defence without the approval of Parliament,
nor even a debate;
● Participate in developing plans until at least March 2019, possibly March 2022 or
● Provide the EU with several new powers over UK defence and a new bargaining chip
for the EU;
● Accept measures that mean a more complicated and time-consuming withdrawal
process that the UK didn’t face before the first of the EU Defence Union agreements
in November 2016;
● Provisional statements on PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) while
keeping open the prospect of UK participation in PESCO and the EU
Council-controlled EU Battlegroups in 2019.
Do you agree? We don't.
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