AUKUS shows world UK is ‘standing on own two feet’ says Baker
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Rishi Sunak has said Britain is “ready for conflict” in the face of mounting tensions with Russia, prior to jetting off to the US to launch the next phase of the AUKUS nuclear submarine partnership alongside President Joe Biden. The Prime Minister will arrive in San Diego on Sunday night to discuss Australia’s procurement of nuclear-powered submarines under the Aukus pact.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said, speaking after a conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said: “He updated the Secretary General on the UK’s Integrated Review Refresh, due to be published tomorrow, which will set out the Government’s evolving global strategy in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing international volatility and competition.
“The Prime Minister also reaffirmed the UK’s intention to remain a leading contributor to NATO, recognising the importance of continuing to invest in collective Euro-Atlantic security. Secretary General Stoltenberg welcomed the valuable role of the United Kingdom as a staunch NATO ally.”
The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister and Secretary General agreed to continue working together in the lead-up to the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Vilnius this June, to ensure the Alliance is addressing the threat on Europe’s eastern flank and is ready for the conflicts of the future.”
Australian Prime Minister Dominic Albanese is expected to announce a plan for a British-designed fleet, with US boats being purchased as a stop-gap measure.
While on the US west coast on Monday, Mr Sunak is also set to unveil the new integrated review of defence and foreign policy, which has been updated in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The refreshed review will set out the UK’s approach to threats from Moscow and an increasingly assertive China.
Ahead of his trip, the Prime Minister said: “In turbulent times, the UK’s global alliances are our greatest source of strength and security.
“I am travelling to the United States today to launch the next stage of the Aukus nuclear submarine programme, a project which is binding ties to our closest allies and delivering security, new technology and economic advantage at home.
“As we launch the 2023 Integrated Review Refresh tomorrow, this is the future we want to deliver – a UK that is secure, prosperous and standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners.”
(More to follow)
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