UK to send largest aircraft carrier to Pacific

Gavin Williamson

He will also say that the United Kingdom has its "greatest opportunity" to redefine its position on the world stage after Brexit.

Campaign Against Arms Trade has responded to a speech "Defence in Global Britain" by the Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson in which he spoke about the need for "hard power to support our global interests" and increased "lethality".

China has laid claim to nearly all of the strategic South China Sea which is viewed as important for shipping lanes and potential resources.

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".

Mr Williamson is to use his speech to outline how cyber forces will be reinforced thanks to a "very significant investment", which will be used both to defend and launch attacks.

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Mr Williamson added "state-on-state competition was reviving" through proxy wars such as operations to eliminate Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Syria and the wider Middle East where Western countries and Moscow have clashed over policy.

The carrier will ferry its contingent of state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter jets as well as US Marine Corps F-35s as it ventures into a region where "China is developing its modern military capability and its commercial power", he added. "Ready to strengthen our resilience", he said.

He will claim that the cost of non-interventions has often been "unacceptably high" and argue that Western powers can not ignore those in need as "to talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger".

"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.

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