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UK 'will block EU army as long as it remains member'

The defence secretary said that leaving the EU will not mean stepping back from security obligations.

Britain will continue to block a European Union army as long as it remains in the bloc as it undermines NATO military alliance, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said.

But speaking at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham on Tuesday, he said: "Leaving the EU does not mean we are stepping back from our commitment to the security of our continent."

France and Germany hope that Britain's vote to leave the EU will leave the path open for common defence proposals.

Making a swipe at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, known for his anti-nuclear arms stance, he said: "Waving a white flag, will not keep us safe.

"Labour would risk our defence for their dogma. That's why they can never be trusted with British security."

Fallon: Britain is not turning its back on the world

Michael Fallon Credit: ITV News

Britain is not turning its back on the world, the defence secretary has said after Britain voted to the leave the EU.

Michael Fallon told ITV News: "I'll be speaking to all our major allies this afternoon to reassure them that Britain is not turning its back on the world."


Michael Fallon: Brexit would weaken security in the West

Michael Fallon. Credit: PA Wire

Britain leaving the EU would weaken security in the West, Defence Minister Michael Fallon has said.

Speaking at NATO, Mr Fallon said: "This is a dangerous moment. No country has ever left either NATO or the European Union and that would clearly weaken the security of Western Europe. Those are the twin pillars of our security."

He also dismissed reports of a possible EU army, saying Britain would veto such a proposal.

Fallon: Government seeks support for Syria air strike vote

Fallon and Carter speaking at the press conference Credit: ITV News

The Government remains committed to building parliamentary support for RAF air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Syria despite Russia's intervention in the conflict, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.

Following talks in London with US defence secretary Ash Carter, Mr Fallon said Russian strikes in support of President Bashar Assad risked making "a grave situation even worse".

However he made clear that ministers would not be deterred from seeking support for a new Commons vote for British warplanes to join the US and other coalition aircraft in attacking IS - also referred to as Isil - in Syria as well as Iraq.

We will continue to build the case for military action in north east Syria where Isil is headquartered, where its command and control is. Russian intervention doesn't change that. We will continue to build the case for intervention in the new parliament.

– Michael Fallon

Carter: Russia's actions in Syria carry risks

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said Russia's actions in Syria are "risky" and "will only inflame the civil war".

He added that Nato "stood strong" against Russia in Ukraine and this "strengthened posture".

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers is at the news conference in London.

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