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UK Pitches 'Global Britain' by Flexing Military Muscle: Defense Minister

13 February 2019

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, which carries squadrons of U.K. and U.S. F-35 jets, will sail to the Gulf, Mediterranean and Pacific on its maiden voyage, U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said in a speech Monday.

In a hawkish speech in London, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said leaving the European Union was an opportunity for Britain "when we must strengthen our global presence".

"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, " Williamson said.

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

He said the £3 billion aircraft carrier's first mission is part of "making Global Britain a reality".

Williamson also said the country's cyber forces will be reinforced to defend and launch attacks.

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

With the boundaries between peace and war becoming "blurred", particularly by Russian Federation and China, Williamson said Britain and its allies had to be ready "to use hard power to support our interests".

The UK needs to strengthen its "lethality" and must be ready to "use hard power" to uphold it interests against nations like Russian Federation and China, Secretary of State for Defense Gavin Williamson said on Monday.

"To talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger", he will add.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "With the United Kingdom at a crossroads, the Government should redefine its role, but that should mean an end to interventionism and the focus on projecting military strength around the world - not more of the same failed policies that have done so much damage".

UK Pitches 'Global Britain' by Flexing Military Muscle: Defense Minister