EU agrees first defense projects under pact that excludes Britain

A group of European Union countries agreed to develop their first joint defense projects under a pact that excludes Britain on Tuesday, Reuters said. The 25 signatories to the pact also delayed a decision on whether to let non-member states join the projects. The move prolongs uncertainty over any future role for Britain after it leaves the EU next year. Britain, which is central to European security efforts, has long blocked defense integration, fearing the creation of an EU army. Defense ministers from the pact’s signatory states, which comprise all but three of the current EU members, signed off on 17 collaborative projects in Brussels. These include a European armored infantry fighting vehicle, underwater anti-mine sensors, and a European medical command.