Friday, June 18, 2021
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Prime Minister to set out new defence and foreign policy blueprint


Boris Johnson is to set out a new policy framework of “increased international activism” to counter growing threats to the established global order from countries like Russia.

The Prime Minister will on Tuesday unveil the results of the Government’s year-long Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy – billed as the most radical reassessment of Britain’s place in the world since the end of the Cold War.

The 100-page document – entitled Global Britain in a Competitive Age – will map out plans for the armed forces to adopt the latest cutting-edge technologies such as drones and artificial intelligence (AI), with a new focus on the future battlefields of space and cyber.

Prime Minister Boris Johnso / PA Wire

It will include the construction of a White House-style situation room based in the Cabinet Office and a new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre to improve the authorities’ ability to respond to incidents.

At the same time it will mark a strategic “tilt” towards the Indo-Pacific region, reflecting the view of ministers that it is increasingly becoming the “geopolitical centre of the world”.

The shift will be underlined by the deployment of the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group to the region on its maiden operational mission later this year.

In the meantime the Prime Minister is due to travel to India at the end of April on his first major international visit following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Afghan Attacks Predator / PA Archive

In a Commons statement, Mr Johnson is expected to argue that while Nato remains the bedrock of UK security in the Euro-Atlantic region, the country can no longer rely on an “increasingly outdated international” to protect its interests.

At a time when some countries are seeking to undermine the open and liberal international order which emerged following the Cold War, he is expected to say the UK needs to use “all the tools at our disposal” to ensure a world where democracies can still flourish.

He is expected to tell MPs: “I am profoundly optimistic about the UK’s place in the world and our ability to seize the opportunities ahead.


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