Friday, 26 April, 2019

Post-Brexit Britain ready to use "hard power"

HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy to the Middle East and Pacific on her maiden operational mission HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy to the Middle East and Pacific on her maiden operational mission
Jeannette Daniel | 13 February, 2019, 15:58

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London on Monday, Williamson said the 65,000-ton carrier Queen Elizabeth - which was commissioned in late 2017 - would also make appearances in the Mediterranean and Middle East along the way as Britain flexed its military muscles post-Brexit.

Deployment of the new aircraft carrier, which is likely to take place in 2021, will also include two squadrons of F-35 stealth jets to "stand up to those who flout worldwide law".

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute, he said Britain must stand up to those who "flout worldwide law".

"The idea that our membership of the European Union restricts us is the purest nonsense", Labour MP Chris Leslie said.

There was an extra £1.8bn for defence in the last budget and Mr Williamson said Brexit had brought the United Kingdom its "greatest opportunity" to strengthen its global presence.

More news: How to watch Monday coverage of AT&T Pebble Beach Pro

"We have to be ready to show the high price of aggressive behaviour".

The defence secretary said Russian Federation is "resurgent" and rebuilding its military arsenal, adding that China is also developing its modern capability and commercial power. "Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost", the Minister said. "As uncertainty grows, we must be ready to act and bring others with us".

He noted the increased use by UK's adversaries of cyberattacks, sabotage, and information operations, challenging the worldwide rules-based system, acting in the gray zone and stopping short of bringing their activity to the level of ordinary conflict. "A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass", Williamson will say in a speech in London.

"Against adversaries upping their spending and advancing technology, we have to respond", Williamson added.

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