Military Capabilities

Business as normal for anti-piracy task force post-Brexit, says EU NAVFOR

17 August 2018

Key Points

  • Operation ‘Atalanta’ headquarters will transfer from the United Kingdom to Spain in March 2019
  • The European Union and United Kingdom have not yet agreed post-Brexit defence and security arrangements

EU Naval Force (NAVFOR) counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa will “continue seamlessly” when its command team relocates from the United Kingdom to Spain, a spokesman told Jane’s on 14 August.

The task group’s operational headquarters (OHQ) is poised to move from Northwood in London to Rota, near Cadiz, on 29 March 2019 – the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU) as a result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

At the same time, a Spanish admiral will become the first non-British officer to lead Operation ‘Atalanta’ since it was initiated at the height of the Somali piracy crisis in 2008.

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