UK pitches 'global Britain' by flexing military muscle - defence minister

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson

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 global law".

Without citing specific examples, Williamson warned that the cost of non-interventions had often been "unacceptably high" and said that Western powers can not ignore those in need.

He will also confirm 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.

The Conservative minister will say that Britain must be prepared to take military action against countries that "flout worldwide law" or risk being seen as a "paper tiger".

Britain should be ready to use military force to support its global interests after Brexit, defence minister Gavin Williamson will say on Monday, adding that the boundaries between peace and war are becoming blurred.

In August, the Royal Navy's HMS Albion, an amphibious assault ship, passed through Chinese-claimed areas in the South China Sea en route to Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, prompting a furious response from Beijing.

Britain and its allies must be prepared "to use hard power to support our interests".

Speaking at Royal United Services Institute, he added that China is also developing its modern capability and commercial power, according to the BBC.

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The alliance "must develop its ability to handle the kind of provocations that Russian Federation is throwing at us", he will say.

â€To talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger, ” he will say.

"Significantly British and American F-35s will be embedded in the carrier's air wing".

"And action, on occasion, that may lead us to have to intervene alone, " he said.

Williamson also said the country's cyber forces will be reinforced to defend and launch attacks. "We should be the nation that people can turn to when the world needs leadership", Williamson said.

He continued: "I want to see our armed forces embracing transformation at an ever-faster rate, keeping pace with technological change, enhancing our mass and increasing our lethality".

The defence secretary won an extra £1.8bn for defence in the last budget.

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