Britain has signed up to a European Union defence agreement despite having severed ties with the EU.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced the move this week, in what appears to be a contradiction of the Brexit vote.
Borrell, who is often viewed as the de facto EU defence secretary as well as its Vice President and Head of the European Defence Agency, said he was “happy” about the move on Thursday.
In a research briefing published last week and placed in the House of Commons Library, it said PESCO “now has 60 projects in total” and of those “38 projects are aligned with NATO priorities.”
It adds that “regulations controlling third-party access to PESCO were always expected to be strict and require, in some form, a commitment to strengthening EU defence through the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).”
The government and chair of the UK defence select committee, Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, has been asked for comment.
This comes as Europe is ravaged by the first major war in decades following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to millions of people fleeing the country. Europe is also challenged by a major refugee crisis.