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The Latest: Defense chief: UK steadfast on European security

Published
An unnamed Australian representative, Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders, Canada's minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan, Denmark's minister of Defense Claus Hjort Frederiksen, French state secretary Juan Francisco Martinez Nunez, French minister of Defense Florence Parly, US minister of Defense Patrick Shanahan, German minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen, British minister of Defense Gavin Williamson, Italy's minister of Defense Elisabetta Trenta, Dutch minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld, Norway's minister of Defense Frank Bakke Jensen, New Zealand's foreign minister Rupert Holborow, and Turkish minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, from left to right, pose for a group photo at the International Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Britain's upcoming scheduled exit from the European Union (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Britain's defense secretary has sought to reassure an audience in Germany that his country's commitment to supporting European security will remain "steadfast" after the country's departure from the European Union.

Gavin Williamson spoke alongside his German counterpart Friday at the opening of the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of global foreign and security policy leaders.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, though it hasn't yet agreed on a withdrawal deal. Williamson stressed that "our commitment to European security remains steadfast."

He added that "we had delivered European security long before the creation of either the European Union or (NATO), and we will continue to deliver it long after we leave the EU."

He said that Britain intends to "take Brexit as an opportunity to do more on the global stage."

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10:20 a.m.

France's Europe minister is urging Britain to "hurry up" and decide whether it's leaving the European Union with or without a deal.

Nathalie Loiseau said on RTL radio Friday that "it's time for our British friends to decide whether they want to leave amicably or brutally."

She said the EU worked hard to reach a Brexit agreement with British Prime Minister Theresa May's government, and "it's a little hard to understand that they can't sell their own proposition."

May suffered another embarrassing parliamentary defeat Thursday over her Brexit strategy, further raising fears that the country could crash out of the EU without a deal, a development that would see tariffs imposed on trade.

Loiseau said Britain should "hurry up" and decide for all businesses and citizens affected by Brexit.

Great Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson talks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
An anti-Brexit demonstrator wears a hat adorned with anti Brexit statements as she protests outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.  British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Anti-Brexit demonstrators stand next to a van with large cartoon style portraits of leading British politicians including, from right, Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis, outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Pro Brexit demonstrators hold banners and placards outside an entrance to the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - An anti-Brexit demonstrator shouts out as he wears a mask with a sticker attached, outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.  British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - An anti-Brexit demonstrator shouts out as he wears a mask with a sticker attached, outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.  British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - An anti-Brexit demonstrator shouts out as he wears a mask with a sticker attached, outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
An anti-Brexit demonstrator wears a hat adorned with anti Brexit statements as she protests outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.  British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
An anti-Brexit demonstrator wears a hat adorned with anti Brexit statements as she protests outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Great Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson talks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
Great Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson talks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
Pro Brexit demonstrators hold banners and placards outside an entrance to the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Pro Brexit demonstrators hold banners and placards outside an entrance to the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Anti-Brexit demonstrators stand next to a van with large cartoon style portraits of leading British politicians including, from right, Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis, outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Anti-Brexit demonstrators stand next to a van with large cartoon style portraits of leading British politicians including, from right, Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis, outside the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. British lawmakers are holding another series of votes on Brexit legislation Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
An unnamed Australian representative, Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders, Canada's minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan, Denmark's minister of Defense Claus Hjort Frederiksen, French state secretary Juan Francisco Martinez Nunez, French minister of Defense Florence Parly, US minister of Defense Patrick Shanahan, German minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen, British minister of Defense Gavin Williamson, Italy's minister of Defense Elisabetta Trenta, Dutch minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld, Norway's minister of Defense Frank Bakke Jensen, New Zealand's foreign minister Rupert Holborow, and Turkish minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, from left to right, pose for a group photo at the International Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
An unnamed Australian representative, Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders, Canada's minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan, Denmark's minister of Defense Claus Hjort Frederiksen, French state secretary Juan Francisco Martinez Nunez, French minister of Defense Florence Parly, US minister of Defense Patrick Shanahan, German minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen, British minister of Defense Gavin Williamson, Italy's minister of Defense Elisabetta Trenta, Dutch minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld, Norway's minister of Defense Frank Bakke Jensen, New Zealand's foreign minister Rupert Holborow, and Turkish minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, from left to right, pose for a group photo at the International Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)