British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has point about NATO membership fees as he signals that Britain will not ''block or impede'' EU plans to forge a closer common defense policy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson offered support to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's demand that America's financial burden for NATO is eased by other member states. Johnson said the U.S. cannot be expected to pay for 70 percent of the Alliance's spending, while the other 27 countries only shoulder 30 percent of the costs. "I want every NATO member to agree to meet the agreed target of spending two percent of GDP on defense," he said. He also said Britain will not block attempts by the European Union to forge a closer common defense policy as it negotiates its exit from the bloc. Defense minister Michael Fallon had previously said he would stop the creation of an EU army for as long as Britain remained inside the European Union as the new force would undermine the NATO military alliance. "We are not there to block or to impede further steps towards EU integration if that is what they so desire. We are there to support and to build a strong, thick relationship," Johnson told an audience at the think tank Chatham House in London. He was making the first of a series of speeches outlining Britain's foreign policy in a post-Brexit world and he warned that democracy was under threat. "We have the cult of the strong-man, we have democracy in retreat, we have an arc of instability across the Middle East, from Iraq to Syria to Libya. Is it our answer to cower and put our heads under the pillow? Emphatically not," Johnson said.