Post-Brexit security pact with EU ‘will complement’ NATO, Starmer says – POLITICO

“I think this is complementary with NATO. NATO is still the cornerstone of defense in Europe and our approach on defense has always been NATO first.”

On Tuesday, Starmer commissioned a review to set out a “roadmap” for increasing the U.K’s defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP — and urged other NATO to members to hike their military spending too.

Labour has said it wants the pact with the EU to cover a broader range of topics beyond just a conventional defense partnership — encompassing areas such as energy, supply chains, pandemics and migration.

Appetite for European defense cooperation in parallel to NATO has grown in Brussels and London in anticipation of Donald Trump’s possible return to the White House. The former U.S. president has been lukewarm in his attitude to NATO and said Europe should take more responsibility for its own security.

Fresh security threats including the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a perceived U.S. pivot to the Pacific region have also played a role.

The new British government is keen to start work on the pact quickly and is expected to use Starmer’s attendance at the Washington summit, as well as a meeting of the European Political Community (EPC) in Oxfordshire, England, next week, to advance early talks on it.

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