Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Economy | By

Britain's May calls for security treaty with EU by end 2019

Britain's May calls for security treaty with EU by end 2019

Theresa May has warned European Union leaders that "deep-seated ideology" must not jeopardise security cooperation after Brexit.

"The Prime Minister has said that, where we don't have to wait, we will not wait", a Downing Street source in Munich told The Independent.

"We as 27 will be very carefully vetting that process to see to it that it is as close as possible but that it is different to what Britain now has as a member - which is what they want and what the British people want but this does not mean that it needs to be cherry-picking".

"So let our message ring out loud and clear today: we will not let that happen. We gave the decision to the British people and they have a right to believe their politicians", May said.

Mrs May's speech is the second in a series of presentations from the British government which has been dubbed "the Road To Brexit".

These now come under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and there are fears that Brussels could undermine a deal by making unreasonable demands about the role of the court.

Upon being asked if Britain would consider the idea of a second vote, the Prime Minister responded: "People in the United Kingdom feel very strongly that if we take a decision, then governments should not turn around and say no you got that wrong". "And that means not letting her own rigid restrictions on any role for the ECJ stand in the way".

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told reporters that security issues couldn't be negotiated in isolation from other issues.

There would need to be "real political will on both sides" for such a treaty to be developed, May said.

The government's policy paper on security said that co-operation should be maintained and intensified, but acknowledged that a new form of agreement was needed because there was no satisfactory precedent for security co-operation between states.

Germany's foreign minister says that as China's influence on the world stage rises, the US and Europe need to return to historical bonds and work together or risk getting left behind.

Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "curious" about, but "not frustrated" with the UK's slow progress in outlining its vision of the future relationship with the European Union, after it leaves.

"Of course, we will continue to work with and alongside each other".

The tensions led Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, to lump the U.S. with China and Russian Federation as powers that "try to test and undermine the EU's unity". "It would be a tragedy if red lines drawn up in haste compromised our existing cooperation", he said.

Britain will pull out of a major foreign policy arrangement as soon as possible after Brexit, Theresa May has announced.

She emphasised that the European arrest warrant had enabled police cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and made reference to the "pragmatic and practical" approach of the then British foreign secretary Jim Callaghan in setting up an intergovernmental anti-terrorist group following the massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

"The key aspects of our future partnership in this area will already be effective from 2019", she said.

May's speech drew criticism from Remain MPs, who said the Prime Minister is pursuing a Brexit deal with the "deepest level of irony".

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