UK prepares to flex military muscle after Brexit

REUTERS
LONDON
Published 12.02.2019 00:21

Prime Minister Theresa May's "Global Britain" slogan is more than a pithy phrase because the United Kingdom will be ready to flex its military muscles after it leaves the European Union, defense minister Gavin Williamson said yesterday. Williamson outlined plans to send its new aircraft carrier to the Pacific, invest in offensive cyber capabilities and adopt a harder military stance after Brexit than it has done in recent years.

"Since the new global great game will be played on a global playing field, we must be prepared compete for our interests and our values far, far from home," he said. "That is why ‘Global Britain' needs to be much more than a pithy phrase: it has to be about action, and our armed forces represent the best of ‘Global Britain' in action," he said.

He announced that the first mission of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will include work in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Pacific regions, and the vessel would carry British and U.S. F-35 jets. Britain is in the midst of its most severe political crisis since World War Two as Prime Minister Theresa May scrambles to find a last-minute agreement on leaving the European Union with only weeks until it is due to end over four decades of political and economic integration in Europe.

Brexit has been seen as a blow to the West, already struggling to assimilate Russian and Chinese power as well as President Donald Trump's unpredictable U.S. presidency. Brexit supporters hail it as a chance for Britain to take on a new global role.

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