Brexit offers chance to improve EU military ties, says German minister
Published 13/07/2016 | 14:41
Britain's decision to leave the European Union offers an opportunity to press ahead with greater military cooperation in the bloc, Germany's defence minister said.
Ursula von der Leyen said that for years Britain has "consistently blocked everything that had Europe written on it," citing the example of a mobile European hospital some countries wanted to deploy to crisis regions.
Speaking at the presentation of a defence policy paper on Wednesday, Ms Von der Leyen said Germany and France plan to take the initiative on future military cooperation.
She said the two countries will start talks with other EU members about creating permanent military structures. Germany already operates joint military units with France and the Netherlands on a bilateral basis.
Ms Von der Leyen said greater security and military cooperation is possible under existing EU treaties.