U.K. Urgently Needs Post-Brexit Foreign Policy Plan, Panel Says

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. must spell out plans for post-Brexit co-operation on foreign and security policy before next month’s European Council if it is to live up to its goal of continuing to work closely with its European Union allies, lawmakers said.

The rules limiting third-country involvement in the bloc’s Common Security and Defence Policy mean Britain will lose its current leadership over missions, such as international efforts to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa and peace-building programs in war-torn nations, the House of Lords European Union Committee said.

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“CSDP missions and operations have made a significant contribution to U.K. foreign policy priorities and been an important channel of U.K. influence,” the panel said in a report published on Monday. “We are concerned that the government has yet to explain how its high-level aspirations could be put into practice.”

Britain’s role has focused on guidance during the planning of missions, including crisis management, reform, capacity building and training, giving it greater influence than its 2.3 percent share of total member-state contributions would suggest, the panel said.

“The U.K. must decide whether to use the leverage afforded by its significant military capabilities to negotiate modifications to the current model for third-country participation,” the panel said. Whatever agreement is reached with the bloc, the government must invest in Brussels and other European capitals to maintain its influence from outside the EU, it said.

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