The United Kingdom's national security and defence depend fundamentally on the security of Europe as a whole. NATO is, and will remain, the primary guarantor of British defence. Its effectiveness and modernisation are therefore important UK priorities, as is its wider role in promoting stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area.
The European Union plays an important complementary role to NATO in enhancing European and global security and stability. The EU has agreed on the establishment of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) to ensure the EU has the tools to undertake crisis management operations, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, in support of its Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The United Kingdom, as a major trading nation and overseas investor, Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, and member of the EU, G8 and Commonwealth, has global interests and responsibilities. Arms control and non-proliferation activities are central to our role in promoting international stability and security.