European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been warned that the European Union will see some of the “biggest differences” in its global defense role. Former Thatcher adviser Lord Powell insisted that the UK had played a central role in dictating Brussels’ approach to foreign policy and that Brexit would likely lead to a “more weak “on the defense and security of the bloc. Speaking to Chubb, Lord Powell said: “Where I think they will find the biggest difference is in the whole defense / security role and the foreign policy role.
“I think it’s fair to say that Britain has always been at the forefront of foreign policy in Europe since joining the EU for precisely the reasons I have already given.
“We’re used to thinking globally, we’re used to acting globally.
“In defense, we are, among all the European members of NATO, the one who spends the most on defense and the one with the most sophisticated equipment and so on.
“And it’s kind of the same on the intelligence side.”
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Lord Powell insisted that the European Union could face problems maintaining a strong global position unless Brexit Britain is allowed to join some of Brussels’ main security institutions.
He added: “We are certainly better at intelligence than any other European country.
“They’re going to be weakened by our leaving unless they’re willing to take us back to some of their institutions and the way they do these things.”
Under the Brexit deal reached between the UK and the EU last December, Britain is no longer part of the bloc’s defense mechanisms.
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The new relationship between the UK and the EU has already been called into question amid concerns over Northern Ireland’s status and the implications for the nation’s role in the kingdom.
As part of the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland effectively remained a member of the customs union and the single market in a bid to preserve the Good Friday deal.
But Brussels’ demands for extended border controls have been met with fury by the British government, which has insisted that the bloc abandon its “purist” interpretation of the protocol currently in place.
While an attempt was made to resolve the issue in May, the UK eventually requested and obtained a three-month extension of the grace period agreed with Brussels, with negotiations continuing to end potential disruptions once the controls implemented more widely.