EU president says member states need to up defence spending

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation broadly supports European Union defence integration, as 22 European Union states are members of the US-led alliance.

The European Commission has launched debate on what direction EU defense cooperation should take once Britain leaves in 2019.

Verhoftstadt, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and a Brexit negotiator in the European Parliament, described the vote an “own goal” and said it would make the exit process “even more complicated” than it already is.

European Union member states are spending an average of 1.3% of GDP on defence, much less than the United States, Russia and China, Mr Juncker said.

His speech came a day after the European Commission announced the creation of a European Defense Fund to help pay for cross-national projects.

Europe’s biggest military powers can’t defend it from external threats and the protection of the region can’t be “outsourced“, EC chief Jean-Claude Juncker said.

Steven Blockmans of the Center for European Policy Studies said that because of the current chaos, “it is questionable whether that period of time will be sufficient in order to strike a good deal”.

Juncker said European Union members benefited from solidarity within the bloc and therefore had to show solidarity with others. Our image today is very different.It is less than a year since a divisive referendum unexpectedly reversed more than half a century of United Kingdom foreign policy. “We can begin these talks tomorrow at 09:30”, he added. He was backed by European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who said the shift in relations between the European Union and its British-American allies isn’t driving the change.

“Brexit is likely to be more open on immigration, which is good news because we rely on foreign workers in our businesses, particularly agriculture, and hospitality and tourism”. After their initial shock at the Brexit vote, the other 27 EU members seemed to be discovering a unity and sense of objective that had seemed to elude the European Union when it met at 28.The euro has been strengthening, even as the UK’s economy began to languish. “We’re doing this because we need it, and we want it”.