Vastavam web: Britain plans to play a bigger role in Asia after Brexit, including deploying aircraft carriers to the region, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said today. Johnson backed the campaign to quit the EU and said the decision had given his country the opportunity to “think afresh” about its international role, while maintaining close ties with its European partners.” People want the involvement of a country that sticks up for a rules-based international system, that is prepared to deploy its military in the area, as we are.”
After attending annual talks in Sydney between the British and Australian foreign and defence ministers, Johnson added that one way his nation would be “stepping up” in the region would be through supporting freedom of navigation. “You will have seen last year how we sent a squadron of typhoons to Korea and Japan,” he told reporters later today. The comments came as British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon made a pitch to build Australia’s next fleet of warships, with Spain and Italy also in the running for the lucrative deal to construct nine frigates.
Australia earlier this year detailed a massive Aus 89 billion (USD 70.4 billion) shipbuilding strategy in the nation’s largest peacetime naval investment.
The big increase in defence spending follows Beijing’s assertion of its regional power status through a military build-up in the contested South China Sea. What people need is certainty and stability. We believe that legal certainty in the South China Sea is hugely important,” Johnson added to The Australian.
“We don’t want to see the militarisation of that area. We believe that for world trade to prosper there must be a fairness about the way sea lanes are going to operate.” “The increase in our defence budgets that Michael Fallon has alluded to do allow for the UK to step up in this region,” Johnson told reporters.
“The change in our circumstances in our relationship with the European Union also allow us now to do a big free trade deal with Australia. The two things go together