Britain, France and Germany sign up to bold post-Brexit military pact to by-pass 'slow and hesitant EU'

Nine countries including the UK have signed a letter of intent to create a joint force that will operate outside of the union – because they are too slow and hesitant to take action.

France is worried that security could be at risk after Brexit if Britain is excluded from European military operations after we leave.

So it's spearheaded the call to act quickly and decisively if needed in the interest of Europe.

The letter was signed by France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Estonia and Portugal, The Times reported.

“The deadlines and decisions in the EU are still much too long compared to the urgency that can arise of a critical situation in a country where Europeans would consider that there is a strong stake for their security,” Florence Parly, the French defence minister, said.

The scheme was proposed by France's President Macron last year in direct competition to EU plans for a new defence pact, and a new trearty could be on the cards by the time Brexit happens next Spring. Italy is also expected to join too.

Today Theresa May was urged to boost Britain's defence budget to £60billion a year to convince the US to stay in Nato.

The powerful Commons Defence committee warned that UK forces can't be a useful ally of the US without a cash boost from the Treasury.

Meanwhile, Brussels has insisted that Britain will lose security perks after we quit the bloc next year.

The UK will be excluded from key partnerships such as the European Arrest Warrant and EU crime databases, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator has said, but said we will still "cooperate strongly" to fight terror and cyber attacks.

But his comments prompted a firm intervention from the GCHQ boss Jeremy Fleming, who revealed that vital intelligence from Britain has helped foil four terror plots against Europe in the last year.

He said the UK had played a critical role – firing a warning shot to Brussels bosses who say they will boot us from working together after we're gone.

After discussions at Nato headquarters, he said: "We’ve played a critical role in the disruption of terrorist operations in at least four European countries in the past year. Those relationships, and our ability to work together, save lives.

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