As UK Prime Minister Theresa May participated to the Munich Security Conference, she did not seem to convince her European partners well enough to work hand-in-hand. “It has always been the case that our security at home is best advanced through global cooperation, working with institutions that support that, including the European Union”, she said.
UK and EU Cooperation
May also added that she would be very keen to continue to work closely together on sanctions. “We will all be stronger if the UK and EU have the means to co-operate on sanctions now and potentially to develop them together in the future”. She later on admitted that threats of cyber attacks, terrorism and organized crime were European problems that requires a daily cooperation and intelligence sharing.
While the Kingdom will leave the UE in March 2019, the conditions to regulate diplomatic information between the countries remain uncertain. How will the UK and other European countries manage and relate information at an airport, or at an international train station, for instance? “As the UK spends around 40 percent of Europe’s total defence R&D budget”, Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission’s President highlighted that “commercial relations should not deteriorate diplomatic and political collaborations”.
No Second Referendum
This event was the right time for May to reiterate that there will be no second referendum. As per France is concerned, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that this year was the “moment to collaborate and see how we could increase the Union’s interests”, emphasizing the key role of the United Kingdom in terms of defence strategy. As a matter of fact, he mentioned his successful meeting with May last January 28th in military academy Sandhurst. As a matter of fact, the U.K. has very good intelligence to offer Europeans.
May pressed on the urgency of countries to make a concession with the United Kingdom in a high-risk alert in the European Union for online and offline attacks. “We are the second largest defence spender in NATO, and the only EU member to spend 2 per cent of our GDP on defence as well as 0.7 per cent of our Gross National Income on international development. It is why we will continue to meet these commitments.” This speech was also a key moment for a large crowd of anti-Brexit to express grief and anger regarding Brexit: “It would have been so much easier if you had not left!”, commented Luxemburg’s conference President Wolfgang Ischinger. As the audience started applauding louder and louder, May left the stage, leaving the light on several unanswered questions.