The Latest: Defense chief: UK steadfast on European security

Posted at 9:25 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 09:25:47-05

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Britain's upcoming scheduled exit from the European Union (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Britain's defense secretary has sought to reassure an audience in Germany that his country's commitment to supporting European security will remain "steadfast" after the country's departure from the European Union.

Gavin Williamson spoke alongside his German counterpart Friday at the opening of the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of global foreign and security policy leaders.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, though it hasn't yet agreed on a withdrawal deal. Williamson stressed that "our commitment to European security remains steadfast."

He added that "we had delivered European security long before the creation of either the European Union or (NATO), and we will continue to deliver it long after we leave the EU."

He said that Britain intends to "take Brexit as an opportunity to do more on the global stage."


10:20 a.m.

France's Europe minister is urging Britain to "hurry up" and decide whether it's leaving the European Union with or without a deal.

Nathalie Loiseau said on RTL radio Friday that "it's time for our British friends to decide whether they want to leave amicably or brutally."

She said the EU worked hard to reach a Brexit agreement with British Prime Minister Theresa May's government, and "it's a little hard to understand that they can't sell their own proposition."

May suffered another embarrassing parliamentary defeat Thursday over her Brexit strategy, further raising fears that the country could crash out of the EU without a deal, a development that would see tariffs imposed on trade.

Loiseau said Britain should "hurry up" and decide for all businesses and citizens affected by Brexit.