London seeks 'deep security partnership' with European Union after Brexit

Pauline Gross
September 13, 2017

Juncker added that he was "not fond of the idea of having a separate euro area parliament", another idea promoted by Macron.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Juncker said that it was time to "raise anchor, get going, set sail" with recent headlines dominated by trade links with the United States and the Brexit negotiations.

The government has offered to maintain strong security connections with the European Union after it has departed from the bloc. But we are going to make progress.

The European Commission President used his speech to call for a special summit of an EU of 27 member states on the 30th March 2019, the day after Britain will formally leave the EU.

Without that movement, British officials say talks may become stalled particularly on Northern Ireland, arguing that how to deal with the only land border with the European Union depends on what kind of future customs deal the two sides will agree.

"Open markets and customs arrangements that are as frictionless as possible are important to the continued success of this sector and to ensure that British and European Armed Forces can access the best war-fighting capacity to keep us safe".

The "future partnership paper" sets out Britain's willingness "to contribute military assets" to Europe's security, as fears grow - in Eastern Europe in particular - about increased Russian aggression.

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"We will regret [Brexit]", Mr Juncker said to the wider audience beyond the parliament, and I think [the British people] will regret it too.

Juncker's comments came in a speech in which he urged the European Union to "catch the wind" in its sails after years of battling crises from the euro zone to migration to Brexit.

His comments will be seen as a warning that Brussels is planning to punish British voters for their shock vote previous year to quit membership of the club.

Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking two days before European Union finance ministers meet to discuss plans to introduce higher taxes on digital multinationals like Google and Amazon, which stand accused of paying too little tax in Europe.

Juncker wants to boost trade deals and finalize pending ones by the end of 2019, saying that countries around the world were "knocking at our door" for new agreements. "I am calling for efficiency", Juncker said.

Unemployment in Europe was at a nine-year low, he said, and the bloc was in the fifth year of an economic recovery that had finally reached every single member state.

He paid special tribute to Italy for its "tireless and noble work" at it bears the brunt of rescuing and helping most of the migrants arriving on Europe's shores.

Other reports by GizPress

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