British think tank says UK better off out of EU

In new publication Institute for Study of Civil Society states that low levels of defense spending are compromising the UK's position.

In new publication Institute for Study of Civil Society states that low levels of defense spending are compromising the UK's position.

LONDON - A U.K. think tank has proclaimed that Britain’s security is being jeopardized by its membership of the European Union, saying people would enjoy more freedoms were it to leave.

In publication "With Friends Like These... Why Britain should leave the EU - and how," the Institute for the Study of Civil Society states that low levels of defense spending are compromising the U.K.'s position. 

"Should it ever have to choose between America or EU membership, its security would be better served by continuing its alliance with America than by remaining an EU member," professorial research fellow David Conway writes. 

He argues that it would be better for Britain if it withdrew, adding that its defense alliance with the U.S. and NATO is being "undermined" by the "continued military integration" of the European block. 

The more integrated EU states' military capabilities become, the more reliant they are for security on the EU and less able to deploy unilaterally, argues Conway. 

"Any greater reliance on the EU could well jeopardize Britain's security because, apart from France and a couple of other member states, Britain's EU partners have consistently shown themselves to be less willing to expend public money on defense," he says.

Conway backs a future U.K.-EU relationship, which would see Britain leave but remain part of the European Economic Area.

He says that then Britain would be in a position to negotiate free trade deals with other countries, and would not be subject to EU directives and regulations.

This would also give Britain the ability to revoke EU laws that had an effect on its justice system, he writes.

By way of an exit strategy, Conway proposes Britain should wait for negotiations over the next EU treaty and use its veto power to achieve a new agreement.

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