United Kingdom says it may still join European Union military missions after Brexit

Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Parliament

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Defence Secretary Michael Fallon added: 'At a time of increased threats and worldwide instability the United Kingdom remains unwavering in its commitment to uphold European security'.

The Government is also offering to agree joint foreign policy positions with Brussels, including co-operating on worldwide sanctions against states or terrorist organisations.

The document set out a number of areas where Britain wanted to maintain or deepen cooperation on security.

The paper is the latest in a series setting out the government's aims for Brexit negotiations. So this paper will say that we want a future partnership in which we can continue to collaborate with our European partners on defence research and capability development post-exit'.

The paper will point to military co-operation with the European Union on tackling piracy off the Horn of Africa and joint projects such as the pan-European Eurofighter Typhoon programme.

"The UK is unconditionally committed to maintaining European security", the paper said.

The position paper - the twelfth to be released by the British government - does not mention cooperation on cross-border crime or whether it will remain a member of Europol.

"After we leave the European Union we will continue to face shared threats to our security, our shared values and our way of life", said Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis. It's in our mutual interest to work closely with the European Union and its member states to challenge terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, cyber-crime, and conventional state-based military aggression'.

The UK and France are the two European permanent members of the UN Security Council and the only European countries with an independent nuclear deterrent, the paper will say, while UK proscriptions and asset freezes are the basis of numerous EU sanctions on terrorist organisations.

The UK has previously warned that the EU must not duplicate Nato's role as the main pillar of European defence.

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