20 Jan 2015

Groundbreaking joint defence deal to bring UK and Ireland forces together

Summary: The UK and the Republic of Ireland have signed an agreement on defence that will see the armed forces of both countries working more closely together.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and his counterpart Simon Coveney signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Dublin Castle this week, allowing British and Irish forces to work together on certain military training, exercises and reforms.

This will be followed by a three-year action plan which will extend the partnership to joint procurement of goods, military forces training and shared reform of defence services.

Defence and security opportunities

Ireland’s Defence Minister Simon Coveney said the deal would provide opportunities for more joint and collaborative work in support of international peace, defence and security.

“It will also enhance the potential for further joint contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.”

The new agreement will strengthen the already strong relationship between both countries and open up new opportunities for procurement partnerships and trade.

Mr Fallon said: It very much reaffirms our resolve to build on and strengthen the existing strong links between the Armed Forces of Ireland and the UK.

“Looking to the future, this agreement will importantly help us both to improve our defence and security cooperation, including conflict prevention and crisis management.”

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