Political Declaration Setting Out the Framework for the Future Relationship Between the European Union and the United Kingdom
(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted Nov. 26, 2018)
PARIS --- The United Kingdom and the European Union have been negotiating the terms of the former’s withdrawal from the latter since British voters opted for Brexit. The future relationship in security and defense affairs has been under negotiation since 2016, and the two parties have reached a draft agreement on their separation.

We have obtained a copy of this 26-page draft, and reproduce below the section regarding foreign policy, security and defense. Paragraph 104 refers more specifically to defense capabilities development.

Below are the document’s introductory paragraph, followed by Section III.


1. The European Union, hereafter referred to as “the Union”, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, hereafter referred to as “the United Kingdom”, ("the Parties”) have agreed this political declaration on their future relationship, on the basis that Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides for the negotiation of an agreement setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of a departing Member State, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. In that context, this declaration accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement that has been endorsed by the Parties, subject to ratification.



92. The Parties support ambitious, close and lasting cooperation on external action to protect citizens from external threats, including new emerging threats, prevent conflicts, strengthen international peace and security, including through the United Nations and NATO, and address the root causes of global challenges such as terrorism or illegal migration. They will champion a rules-based international order and project their common values worldwide.

93. The Parties will promote sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. In this regard, they will continue to support the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the European Consensus on Development.

94. The Parties will shape and pursue their foreign policies according to their respective strategic and security interests, and their respective legal orders. When and where these interests are shared, the Parties should cooperate closely at the bilateral level and within international organisations. The Parties should design flexible and scalable cooperation that would ensure that the United Kingdom can combine efforts with the Union to the greatest effect, including in times of crisis or when serious incidents occur.

95. To this end, the future relationship should provide for appropriate dialogue, consultation, coordination, exchange of information and cooperation mechanisms. It should also allow for secondment of experts where appropriate and in the Parties' mutual interest.

A. Consultation and cooperation

96. The Parties should establish structured consultation and regular thematic dialogues identifying areas and activities where close cooperation could contribute to the attainment of common objectives.

97. In this regard, the Political Dialogue on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as well as sectoral dialogues would enable flexible consultation between the Parties at different levels (ministerial, senior official, working). The High Representative may, where appropriate, invite the United Kingdom to informal Ministerial meetings of the Member States of the Union.

98. The Parties should seek to cooperate closely in third countries, including on security, consular provision and protection, and development projects, as well as in international organisations and fora, notably in the United Nations. This should allow the Parties, where relevant, to support each other's positions, deliver external action and manage global challenges in a coherent manner, including through agreed statements, demarches and shared positions.

B. Sanctions

99. While pursuing independent sanctions policies driven by their respective foreign policies, the Parties recognise sanctions as a multilateral foreign policy tool and the benefits of close consultation and cooperation.

100. Consultation on sanctions should include the exchange of information on listings and their justification, development, implementation and enforcement, as well as technical support, and dialogue on future designations and regimes. Where foreign policy objectives that underpin a specific future sanction regime are aligned between the Parties, intensified exchange of information at appropriate stages of the policy cycle of this sanctions regime will take place, with the possibility of adopting sanctions that are mutually reinforcing.

C. Operations and missions

101. The Parties welcome close cooperation in Union-led crisis management missions and operations, both civilian and military. The future relationship should therefore enable the United Kingdom to participate on a case by case basis in CSDP missions and operations through a Framework Participation Agreement.

102. Where, following early consultation and exchange of information through the Political Dialogue, the United Kingdom indicates its intention to contribute to a planned CSDP mission or operation open to third countries, the Parties should intensify interaction and exchange of information at relevant stages of the planning process and proportionately to the level of United Kingdom's contribution. This would allow the United Kingdom to best tailor its contribution and provide timely expertise.

103. As a contributor to a specific CSDP mission or operation, the United Kingdom would participate in the Force Generation conference, Call for Contributions, and the Committee of Contributors meeting to enable sharing of information about the implementation of the mission or operation. It should also have the possibility, in case of CSDP military operations, to second staff to the designated Operations Headquarters proportionate to the level of its contribution.

D. Defence capabilities development

104. The future relationship should benefit from research and industrial cooperation between the Parties' entities in specific European collaborative projects to facilitate interoperability and to promote joint effectiveness of Armed Forces. In this regard, while both Parties should preserve their respective strategic autonomy and freedom of action underpinned by their respective robust domestic defence industrial bases, the Parties agree to enable to the extent possible under the conditions of Union law:

a. the United Kingdom's collaboration in relevant existing and future projects of the European Defence Agency (EDA) through an Administrative Arrangement;

b. the participation of eligible United Kingdom entities in collaborative defence projects bringing together Union entities supported by the European Defence Fund (EDF); and

c. the United Kingdom's collaboration in projects in the framework of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), where invited to participate on an exceptional basis by the Council of the European Union in PESCO format.

E. Intelligence exchanges

105. The Parties should exchange intelligence on a timely and voluntary basis as appropriate, in particular in the field of counter-terrorism, hybrid threats and cyber-threats, and in support of those CSDP missions and operations to which the United Kingdom will be contributing.

While the Parties will produce intelligence products autonomously, such intelligence exchange should contribute to a shared understanding of Europe's security environment.

106. The future relationship should allow for timely exchanges of intelligence and sensitive information between the relevant Union bodies and the United Kingdom authorities. The European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) and the United Kingdom should cooperate in the field of space-based imagery.

F. Space

107. The Parties should consider appropriate arrangements for cooperation on space.

G. Development cooperation

108. The Parties should establish a dialogue to enable strategies in the programming and
delivery of development that are mutually reinforcing.

109. On the basis of their mutual interest, the Parties should consider how the United Kingdom could contribute to the Union's instruments and mechanisms, including coordination with the Union's delegations in third countries.

-end of excerpt-

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