United Kingdom says it may still join European Union military missions after Brexit

Brexit Secretary David Davis is braced for the first key votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill tonight

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has offered Brussels "a future partnership with the European Union of depth and breadth, taking in diplomacy, defence and security, and development" in an article for The Times.

Britain says it wants close cooperation with the bloc on defense and foreign affairs, including joint foreign-policy positions and cooperation on sanctions.

"The UK is unconditionally committed to maintaining European security", it said.

It will say the government will seek a new partnership that goes beyond existing arrangements with third countries and promise the use of the UK's "assets, capabilities and influence" in security operations.

The Guardian newspaper said the latest paper "strikes a more positive note about European Union defence and foreign policy matters than expected".

European Union lawmakers must endorse any agreement before Britain leaves in March 2019.

Mr Davis has been embroiled in fraught Brexit negotiations with the EU's Michel Barnier
Mr Davis has been embroiled in fraught Brexit negotiations with the EU's Michel Barnier

"For me it look like all the documents are defining what is in the interests of Great Britain and hat is what Great Britain wants to sustain, wants to keep - and the rest is not acceptable".

And Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the UK's role in the continent's defence had "never been more vital".

"What we are doing - and everybody has asked for this - is to set out how we see the new partnership the day after Brexit".

Upon triggering Article 50 in March, Theresa May warned that failure to reach a deal would mean that "co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened" - in what was taken by some in Brussels as a threat to future security ties.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Europe can no longer "completely depend" on the USA and United Kingdom following the election of President Trump and the Brexit vote, while European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently called on EU member states to step up their military co-operation.

Eurosceptics have been holding out hope that Ms Merkel will intervene in Brexit negotiations following the German elections later this month and make concessions to the UK.

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