EU not want 'revenge' for Brexit: EU's Juncker to UK
The head of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker vows to uphold security ties between the European Union and the United Kingdom after Britain leaves the bloc, saying he does not want to take “revenge” on Britain for Brexit vote.
In a reaction to British Prime Minster Theresa May’s calls for a new security partnership with the European Union at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, Juncker said on Saturday that he wanted to see security cooperation continue, but warned security cooperation should not be “mixed up” with other Brexit-related issues.
“I believe since we are not at war with the UK and since we do not want to take revenge on the UK for what the British people have decided, so this security alliance, this security bridge between the UK and the EU will be maintained, we still need it,” he said at the Munich Security Conference.
Just prior to him, May told the conference, "We must now move with urgency to put in place the treaty that will protect all EU citizens wherever they are in Europe…To make this happen will require real political will on both sides.”
May, who has for months been pushing for a deep and special economic partnership with the EU after Brexit, now has focused of security. The prime minister has consistently said that she will not use security as a bargaining chip and that her offer is "unconditional."
Britain, which will be outside the EU as a "third" country after the exit, wants a treaty to protect what May’s government describes as real, tangible benefits of cooperation.
The Downing Street says failure to sign up such a treaty “will play into the hands of our enemies who would like nothing more than to see Europe divided.”
A new security deal, however, has yet to be negotiated for after Brexit.