BRITAIN’S navy will continue to support European allies, the defence secretary has said.
Michael Fallon spoke out reassure the UK’s allies that ‘Britain is not turning its back on them’ in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote.
Speaking in the House of Commons this week, the former minister for Portsmouth said the Royal Navy would continue to play a leading role in global defence matters.
His comments came after Emily Thornberry, Labour’s former shadow defence secretary, asked how he ‘can reassure the British people that we can keep our country safe and secure in the wake of the Brexit vote’.
Responding, Mr Fallon told MPs: ‘Yes, it is very important that we reassure our allies in Europe and around the world that Britain is not turning its back on them.
“On the contrary we are still playing a leading role in the world and that includes work in some of the vital operations in the Mediterranean and off the horn of Africa, some of which of course are led by Nato, others of which are led by the European Union.’
The Tory defence chief added: ‘The Royal Navy will continue to play its part in assisting the border force and other organisations, the European Union and Nato, in dealing with people smuggling and illegal migration.”
Mr Fallon told the House of Commons that the government remained ‘committed’ to its role with Nato and stressed that Thursday’s vote to leave the EU would not undermine the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent.