With Britain out of the picture, Germany and France will forge deeper defence cooperation in the European Union.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on July 13 that Britain had “paralysed” such initiatives in the past.
“I can tell you from experience that in the past Britain has said it will not do these things,” she told a news conference. “This paralysed the European Union on the issues of foreign and security policy. This cannot mean that the rest of Europe remains inactive, but rather we need to move forward on these big issues.”
In related news, Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, noted that Germany’s new planning report about defence and security policies.
The 2016 White Paper marks a major shift for Germany, which has long refrained from sending troops abroad in international conflicts.
According to DW, Germany now deploys troops to conflict zones, from the Balkans to Afghanistan and Mali, but kept out of the Nato intervention in Libya. In a non-combat role, Germany is part of the international alliance against Islamic State.
Germany’s opposition Left Party, however, was quick to criticise the defence ministry’s plan. In a statement, the party said: “The ‘white paper’ is nothing but a written demand for more money for more soldiers, for more military operations and more military equipment. It’s a ‘white paper’ for armaments and war”.