On 17 June, British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert signed an agreement committing the two nations to closer collaboration and strengthening defence ties between them.
The agreement includes a pledge to work more closely across defence and security policy, intelligence and joint exercises and contains a commitment to strengthening cooperation in areas such as hybrid and cyber warfare and counter-terrorism. It will also see the exchange of personnel and work towards a UK-Netherlands Amphibious Force. “The UK is stepping forward not back from the global stage and will continue to defend our continent before and after Brexit,” Sir Michael commented.
The two nations have a long history of 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.
“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,” Minister Hennis-Plasschaert observed.