But a new report by the the think tank the Henry Jackson Society, says that the EU will need British military support in future and this should be a factor in negotiations with Brussels.

The report titled What the European Union owes the United Kingdom, shows that EU countries that are also in NATO, have “shortchanged” the alliance by $451bn (£338bn) between 2012 and 2016.

It said that British defence spending over this time of US$285.5bn (£214bn) comprises almost a third (32%) of spending by countries in both NATO and the EU and illustrates how the UK has effectively subsidised the security and defence of the European mainland by an extra US$23.9bn.

Author of the report, James Rogers, said that there needed to be a “new and durable relationship” between the UK and the EU.

“The United Kingdom has been disparaged by many Europeans for its decision to leave the EU. Some have gone so far as to construct it as a kind of pariah state. This depiction is entirely unwarranted.

“Britain remains deeply committed to the security of Europe as the largest European military and foreign aid spender. Moreover, most European countries, insofar as they have short-changed both NATO and the world’s poorest people by hundreds of billions of dollars over the past five years, have their own shortcomings, which should not be overlooked,” he said.

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