Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Britain sets out global role for its armed forces post-Brexit

Britain sets out global role for its armed forces post-Brexit

He also confirmed the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is being deployed to the Pacific region, where China has been involved in a dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Stressing that the United Kingdom now had "its greatest opportunity in 50 years to redefine its role", the defense secretary said that, as the United Kingdom braces to leave the European Union, "it is up to us to seize the opportunities that Brexit brings".

Gavin Williamson will warn in a speech that Britain must stand up to those who "flout worldwide law". "A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass", Williamson will say.

He said the £3 billion aircraft carrier's first mission is part of "making Global Britain a reality".

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China has laid claim to most of the South China Sea, which is used by several countries, including the US, as an important shipping lane.

Britain should use Brexit as a springboard to "maximise our influence around the world" and strengthen a close alliance with the US amid security threats from Russian Federation and China, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Monday.

Mr Williamson is to use his speech to outline how cyber forces will be reinforced thanks to a "very significant investment", which will be used both to defend and launch attacks.

He told those gathered for his speech that "state-on-state competition was reviving".

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We have to be ready to show the high price of aggressive behavior, ready to strengthen our resilience.

He said: "More European nations need to be ready and capable of responding to step up to a two percent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target and not being distracted by the notion of an EU army".

He will claim that the cost of non-interventions has often been "unacceptably high" and argue that Western powers can not ignore those in need as "to talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger".

"We can build new alliances, rekindle old ones and most importantly make it clear that we are the country that will act when required".

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"Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost", Williamson will say in the speech, according to the text.

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