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Europe Inches to Military Integration as UK Power Withdraws From the Continent

© REUTERS / Philippe WojazerFrench army soldiers patrol as tourists form a queue at the entrance of the Louvre museum in Paris, France as the French capital is under high security during the UEFA 2016 European Championship
French army soldiers patrol as tourists form a queue at the entrance of the Louvre museum in Paris, France as the French capital is under high security during the UEFA 2016 European Championship - Sputnik International
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Britain’s formidable military forces and infrastructure will not form part the Continental Defense Union as it will have left the EU by 2025.

The European Union on March 28 announced its "Action Plan" envisioning the creation of a Europe-wide defense union by the year 2025. Secretary of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker announced the 2025 deadline in his 2017 state of the union address.

The plan involves the creation of transnational transportation infrastructure to allow the seamless movement of troops and military equipment across the borders of member-states as well as modification to customs systems to allow such movement, similarly to the free movement of private citizens among member states.

READ MORE: 'Within and Beyond': EU Eyes 'Military Schengen Zone' Near Russia's Borders

The 27 remaining EU member states agreed in 2017 to the "Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defense (PESCO)" which has widely been viewed as a major step in the direction of creating a single pan-European military force, which the continent's defense posture away from its reliance on alliances with the United States and the so-called "Atlantic System."

Crucially, the planned Defense Union will not include the armed forces of the United Kingdom which, on its current timetable will have definitively left the bloc by 2021. Britain retains what has often been considered the most effective military in Europe and the second most powerful in NATO after the United States.

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