In meetings with fellow defence ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia on 27 September UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, MP, urged greater co-operation between the EU and NATO, building on the Warsaw summit which gave impetus to the NATO-EU partnership. He also signed a Joint Declaration aimed at turning commitments into practical outcomes in areas such as maritime cooperation, cyber collaboration and stepping up efforts to counter hybrid attacks.
Reassuring European partners that Britain would continue to play a proactive role in tackling security threats, he said: “We’re leaving the EU, not leaving Europe, but it’s in our national interest to strengthen security. We’re stepping up our efforts with the Royal Navy in the southern Mediterranean tackling illegal migration, people smuggling and arms trafficking.”
He emphasised the pressing need for greater competitiveness in the European defence industry and highlighted the UK’s Defence Growth Partnership, which encourages British companies to be more globally competitive.
He added “Three months on from the EU vote, we’re doing more in the world, not less. Our F35 planes, the world’s most advanced fighter jets, made their debut at the Farnborough Air Show – alongside multi-billion pound investments in attack helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft. And in Warsaw at the NATO summit the UK committed 500 troops to Estonia to defend NATO’s eastern flank and pledged to continue transforming the Alliance to meet the challenges both from East and the South.”
Photo: British Embassy Slovakia