The future president of the European Council has expressed concern about Britain politically drifting away from Europe and towards America, the comments coming as the UK reportedly threatened to pull out of EU defence commitments.

“How do we maintain a close relationship to the United Kingdom, our ally and neighbour? How will we repair the potential damage caused by a hard Brexit? The UK is now looking more and more toward the United States,” European Council President-elect Charles Michel, who will replace Donald Tusk on November 1st, said to an audience of the EU’s diplomatic services as reported by POLITICO.

European governments and Brussels diplomats fear instability if the UK aligns politically with the United States under so-called “populist leaderships”, according to The Times, and betraying an anxiety that the EU would be overshadowed by nation-state powers such as the United States, Mr Michel ended his address by calling for EU-wide cooperation on foreign policy, so the bloc can “speak loud and clear on the world stage”.

His observation that the UK is moving closer to the U.S. in terms of relations and geopolitics comes amidst reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief EU negotiator David Frost has threatened to drop defence and security commitments made by Theresa May. The government will insist that any use of the British military is a sovereign issue — a sentiment which has alarmed Europeans dependent on the UK’s armed forces contributions, as well as its expertise in cybersecurity and intelligence-gathering.

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