UK strengthens defence partnership with Netherlands

The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, has met with the Minister of Defence for the Netherlands in London to sign an agreement that will strengthen defence relations between the two countries.

Sir Michael and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert agreed the joint vision statement – a commitment to strengthen co-operation in areas including hybrid and cyber warfare and counter-terrorism.

The agreement will include a pledge to work more closely across defence and security policy, intelligence and joint exercises. It will also see the exchange of personnel and work towards a UK-Netherlands Amphibious Force.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “The UK has stepped up its relationship with the Netherlands – one of our closest and most reliable European allies. We have committed to working more closely to tackle common threats, from cyber security to terrorism, and will be united in our drive for the EU and NATO to work better together.

“The UK is stepping forward not back from the global stage and will continue to defend our continent before and after Brexit.”

The UK and Netherlands have a long history working together through the UN, NATO, Joint Expeditionary Force and, most recently, in the Counter Daesh Global Coalition. The Dutch have also committed a company of Marines to the UK-led NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Land) this year.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Minister of Defence for the Netherlands said: “I very much value the strong military ties between the UK and the Netherlands. Clearly, our collective security is at stake, and I am convinced that we can only face today’s and tomorrow’s challenges by joining forces. We need each other more than ever. Military cooperation, either bilateral or within NATO-EU, is crucial in securing and safeguarding peace and stability at home and abroad.”

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