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Remaining plugged into European defence and security after Brexit: Australia and Germany

International relations International cooperation National security Brexit Australia Germany

The UK will leave the EU in March 2019. This will have long-lasting implications not only for both the UK and the EU’s remaining member states but also for third countries that have close ties to the continent, such as Australia. To remain plugged into European security and defence after Brexit, Canberra will need to develop stronger ties with other European partners to replicate the strong bonds it has with London.

Particularly as a proponent of the international rules-based order, Australia should engage more with like-minded European partners such as Germany to address challenges to that order. As two middle powers, Germany and Australia share similar values and are committed to the international rules-based order. Facing similar global security challenges, possibilities for closer cooperation towards tackling those issues should be explored.

This report examines Australia’s relationship with Germany by assessing existing ties and demonstrating future opportunities for increasing cooperation. It sets out some opportunities and limits and provides recommendations for Australian security and defence cooperation with Germany following Brexit by looking at cooperation in the areas of security and defence policy, military and defence, and defence industry.

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