EU External Affairs Sub-Committee

Brexit: Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions inquiry

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Oral evidence concluded: Report in preparation.

Scope of the inquiry

Article 42(1) of the Lisbon Treaty sets out that "The common security and defence policy shall be an integral part of the common foreign and security policy. It shall provide the Union with an operational capacity drawing on civilian and military assets. The Union may use them on missions outside the Union for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The performance of these tasks shall be undertaken using capabilities provided by the Member States."

In its 'Foreign policy, defence and development - a future partnership paper' (September 2017), the Government set out its intention to develop an "ambitious new partnership" with the EU which "would provide the opportunity for the UK and the EU to work together in CSDP missions and operations".

The inquiry will explore the value of the CSDP to the UK's pursuit of its foreign policy goals, how UK participation in missions post-Brexit could be facilitated, what role the UK might play in the planning of missions after Brexit, and how far this would depend on the UK's co-operation in other areas of the EU's foreign and security policy after withdrawal. 

The EU currently has 16 CSDP missions. The inquiry will consider, in particular the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) Kosovo and the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia (with reference to Operation Atalanta), and may, in the course of the inquiry, also consider EU missions in Mali.

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