Report: Brexit to impact defence collaboration04/09/17Defence
The UK’s planned departure from the EU could put pressure on missile-maker MBDA and will block London from EU funds for weapons research and development, according to a report from think tank Ares.
Ares published the report titled ‘The Impact of Brexit on the European Armament Industry,’ in the same week that the UK and the European Commission held a third round of high-level talks to negotiate Brexit.
The European Commission is due to fund arms research with a launch of the European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) and the demonstration stage of weapons with the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).
These two funds ‘could be more problematic for MBDA,’ the report said. ‘British companies will in principle no longer benefit from community credits outside the EU.’
MBDA in France and Italy could apply for EU funds, but the UK unit would be excluded. ‘This would have a negative effect on the company’s integration process and could also cause strain within it,’ the report said.
‘This issue is particularly acute with regards to MBDA,’ the report said, adding that exclusion would be extended to any future UK co-operation in weapons, both at research and development stages.
That could lead potential industrial partners to ‘think twice’ before working with Britain if that led to being rejected from EU funding, the report said.
The authors of the Ares report came from the think tanks International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), and Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).