The Future Security Partnership with the EU keeps options open for future security cooperation – but the UK will have to decide how much sovereignty it is prepared to give up to maintain current levels of security.
The debate about the EU military headquarters is not as vacuous as some of its British critics claim, although it has undoubtedly been given a new lease of life by the Brexit vote. Still, the UK would be well-advised to drop its vociferous opposition to the scheme, even if it continues to entertain doubts about its viability.
Slovakia’s prime minister is a harsh critic of Britain and of Brexit. This is understandable; however, a recent study suggests that he would be well-advised to pay more attention to his own country’s precarious affiliations to pan-European institutions.
Since Britain’s EU referendum result, the pound has fallen against the US dollar by around 15 per cent. If this decline is sustained, the cost of Britain’s defence imports could increase by around £700 million per annum from 2018–19 – around 2 per cent of the total defence budget.
The likelihood of a second referendum designed to reverse the first referendum’s decision (as in the Republic of Ireland in 2009) remains very low in the UK, so the Brexit verdict seems irreversible. It also appears certain that the new prime minister, Theresa May, will eventually trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, likely in September or October.
The depreciation of the pound against the dollar in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union raises major doubts about the affordability of the country’s current defence equipment plans.