Britain’s departure from the European Union has serious implications not only for the economy but also for Europe’s new defense strategy. A few days after NATO and EU agreements to solidify cooperation against Russian threats, the Brexit now poses concerns on whether the alliance could keep a strong hold of its defense system.
The United States and the European Union are looking into using two EU and NATO summits to help discuss and establish reforms regarding the U.S.’s two primary security pillars. Likewise, the aim is also to help minimize the reliance of Europe on Washington.
“Things are going to be a lot harder,” Reuters quoted a senior Western defense official involved in EU-NATO cooperation. “NATO planned on linking itself up to a stronger European Union, not being the default option for a weakened, divided bloc.”
European Union is now faced with challenges to “act autonomously if and when necessary” given the failing states on its borders, migrant crisis, and present Russian threat. The step, which is symbolic of its own, has gained strong support from Germany and France especially since encourages governments to talk about and manage their defense spending. However, Brexit concerns looms.
“What Britain does matters,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “Britain is the biggest security provider in Europe.”
Addressing Brexit Fallout
Nonetheless, since it already happened, NATO and EU leaders have pledged to work together and strengthen the alliance to address the consequences of the Brexit fallout.
“Cooperation between the European Union and NATO was important before the UK vote. It has become even more important now,” Reuters quoted Stoltenberg in another report.
“We have to work even harder,” he added. The official also stressed that Britain will still be committed to transatlantic security as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.