On Friday 8th June the House of Commons Defence Committee published a report on the UK Government’s proposals for a future security partnership with the European Union.

ADS had submitted a response into the inquiry outlining that the UK’s defence is world class, with an annual turnover of over £22bn and secured export business worth £5.9bn. The UK also plays a leading role in EU defence and security matters by making a significant contribution to a number of EU missions, and holding a leading role in the European Defence Agency.

The UK’s decision to leave the EU has caused uncertainty for industry, but even after Brexit the UK remains a fundamental part of Europe’s wider security and defence architecture. British and European defence and security are defined by common challenges, which are severe and complex, and where coordination and cooperation are mutually beneficial.

Our defence and security sectors are the biggest in Europe and make a substantial contribution to both our safety and economic prosperity. These sectors achieved more than £10bn in exports last year and need to continue enjoying access to R&D programmes, as well as customers and suppliers that support their global competitiveness.

In the report the Committee re-emphasises the points made by ADS, and examines the EU’s plans for defence co-operation, the mechanisms being constructed to put co-operation into practice and how and where the UK Government plans to be engaged with them after Brexit.

The Committee concludes that the Government ought to provide more opportunity for Parliamentary scrutiny, including a debate on the floor of the House, before it enters in to any binding commitment. The Committee also highlights a number of areas in which the Government ought to provide clarification including on the Common Security and Defence Programme (CSDP), PESCO, the EDF, and involvement with pan-European complex supply chains and research funding.