Britain hails Trump ‘opportunity’ for skeptical EU
BRUSSELSBritain urged the EU Nov. 14 to treat U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s election as an “opportunity,” exposing a rift with much of the rest Europe as it debated boosting the bloc’s military role amid fears of an isolationist America.
Britain has long opposed any such plans as undermining NATO, but after its shock June Brexit vote and Trump’s election, member states led by France and Germany are backing a new plan to boost security cooperation within the EU.
The plan has been drawn up by EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini who said, as foreign ministers met in Brussels on Nov. 14, that “There is a need to strengthen our security profile, it’s what our citizens need.”
For his part, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, urged his colleagues to wait and see what Trump wants, and to boost their NATO defense spending.
“Donald Trump, as I’ve said before, is a dealmaker and I think that could be a good thing for Britain but it can also be a good thing for Europe,” Johnson said as he arrived for the foreign ministers meeting.