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Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:08 pm on 20th June 2018.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence 4:08 pm, 20th June 2018

We have always been clear that the interests of European security are very much our interests. That was the case before we joined the European Union and it will certainly be the case after we leave. We are open to discussions about how we can continue to work with our European partners—working and leading, if and when that is appropriate. We must not underestimate our capability compared with that of other European nations. We are at the leading edge. We are one of the very few European nations that can lead operations and make a real difference. We recognise the fact that, as we leave the European Union, we want good strong relationships in terms not only of operations but of defence strategy, procurement and industrial strategy. We will continue to work closely with the European Union.