At DSEI last week, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon shared more about the UK’s defence strategy post-Brexit, saying Britain will “spread its wings across the world”, increasing arms and defence exports.
Earlier in the week, the government put out a new foreign policy and defence position paper on its post-Brexit strategy, saying it would contribute military assets to EU operations, cooperate on sanctions and agree joint positions on foreign policy as part of a “deep security partnership” with the EU after Brexit.
In an interview with FINN at DSEI, ADS CEO Paul Everitt said the paper was good news for the UK and for industry. He said: “The UK is making a generous offer here…Defence and security is important to us all and this, to a certain extent, should be above the politics.”
From talking to members outside the UK, in Europe, Everitt says the industry has a “common agenda to ensure that the new relationship that the UK and the EU agree is as close to the current one as we can get.”
He commented: “There’s a sense that the issues are the same, whether it’s about research and development, frictionless borders or access to skills.”
While the industry may be united in many ways, the challenge is around the politics, Everitt noted. The focus now, he said, is trying to get the government and EU negotiators to agree early that there should be a transition period so that businesses everywhere in Europe have confidence that they understand the impact and time to adapt their businesses to meet the new conditions.