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The future of the EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy post Brexit

Speech given yesterday by Michel Barnier at the EU Institute for Security Studies conference.

"The future of the EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy post Brexit"

Dear Federica,
Ladies and gentlemen,
General, dear Jorge,

Our future partnership with the UK must go beyond trade. The European Union has said this many times before.

It should, in particular, include a strong pillar in foreign, security and defence policy.

So, let me thank the EU Institute for Security Studies for this opportunity today to discuss this future cooperation, together with Federica Mogherini. 

Gustav, your institute is the place for creative thinking in foreign policy and security – exactly what we need for this discussion.


Back in April 2017, the European Council expressed its readiness to establish a close partnership with the UK in foreign, security and defence policy.

What unites us here is stronger - much stronger - than what divides us.

This was demonstrated after the attack in Salisbury. The EU reacted with a great sense of unity and solidarity with the UK.

10 months from the day of Brexit, our clear sign to the UK and the international community is that the security of the European Union and the UK is bound together.

  • There is still a lot of uncertainty. Negotiations on the future with the UK have not started yet. We have had a first exploratory discussion.
  • But there should be no uncertainty about our commitment to a future security partnership: security challenges are, by their nature, cross-border.

Solidarity is not to be negotiated. Any trade-off between security and trade would lead to an historic failure - and it would be a strategic mistake, benefiting those who want to weaken us.

We therefore welcome the UK's commitment to Europe's security, as restated in the recently published UK paper "Framework for the UK-EU Security Partnership".

Click here for the full speech


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