Prime Minister Theresa May has said the government will maintain its commitment to protecting Europe after Brexit, after accusing Russia of military aggression and meddling in elections.
Ms May said Britain would continue to provide military help to those who were victims of aggression.
May said in a speech at the Guildhall in London’s financial district:
“The UK will remain unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security.
“The comprehensive new economic partnership we seek will underpin our shared commitment to open economies and free societies in the face of those who seek to undermine them.”
By offering to place its defence programme at the disposal of the EU, the Government hopes to win concessions in trading and economic relations following Brexit.
The UK currently has the biggest defence budget of any EU member, making its military an important asset where the organisation is concerned.
Ms May also accused Russia of violating the airspace of several EU nations, and mounting a campaign of cyber-attacks, as well as meddling in elections and hacking into the Danish defence ministry, German parliament and its state media.
“We will take the necessary actions to counter Russian activity.”
“Russia can, and I hope one day will, choose this different path.”
“But for as long as Russia does not, we will act together to protect our interests and the international order on which they depend.”