Tuesday, January 18, 2022

UK security ties to EU no ‘bargaining chip’, says Johnson

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Virginia Mayo

Britain’s commitment to EU security is “unconditional” and will not be used as leverage in its negotiations to leave the bloc, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Friday.

In formally notifying the EU this week of Britain’s intention to leave, Prime Minister Theresa May upset European capitals with her warning that failure to clinch a deal on trade would weaken the fight against terrorism.

“I want to stress the UK’s commitment to the defence and security of this region, Europe, is unconditional,” Johnson said upon arriving for talks with NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

“It is not some bargaining chip in any negotiations that may be taking place elsewhere in this capital. We make an unconditional commitment to the defence and security of Europe.”

He added: “We profoundly believe it is in the interest of the stability and prosperity of the whole transatlantic area.”

The row came as some of the EU’s top leaders fleshed out their strategy for the tough talks ahead as the bloc reels from the blow of one of its biggest members becoming the first state ever to start withdrawal from the 60-year-old union.

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