Theresa May rejects Michel Barnier claim that UK turned its back on terror fight with Brexit vote

Posted On: 
29th November 2017

Theresa May has mounted a strong defence of Britain's part in the war on terror - after Michel Barnier claimed the Brexit vote showed the UK had turned its back on Europe's fight against Daesh.

Theresa May has rejected Michel Barnier's criticisms of the Brexit vote.
PA Images

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator said the British had chosen to "be on their own again" despite pleas for solidarity in the wake of attacks on the continent.

Speaking at a security conference in Berlin, he said: "It was a decision that came six months after the French minister of defence issued a call for solidarity to all his European counterparts to join forces to fight the terrorism of Daesh.

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"Never had the need to be together, to protect ourselves together, to act together been so strong, so manifest.

"Yet rather than stay shoulder to shoulder with the Union, the British chose to be on their own again."

But in a rebuttal of Mr Barnier's claims, the Prime Minister's official spokesman stressed "the leading role Britain plays and continues to play in terms of combating Daesh, both in terms of online extremism, which Daesh uses to spread its poisonous message, and also in terms of the fight against Daesh on the ground in Iraq and in Syria, where Britain has played a leading role alongside our allies in the coalition against IS and which has had notable military success in driving IS back".

He added: "The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear about our ongoing commitment to the security of Europe and of the European Union and her determination to continue co-operating with the EU sharing information and standing together against IS and terrorism in all its forms."

British politicians also dismissed Mr Barnier's comments.