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Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has outlined the global role of the UK’s Armed Forces and defence industry after leaving the European Union and beyond in a speech at The Royal United Services Institute…

The Defence Secretary acknowledged that the UK faces a world of competing powers, hostile states and stateless ideologies, who are happy to operate in a ‘grey zone’ between war and peace. He claimed it is crucial that Britain’s Armed Forces and defence infrastructure are ready to meet these challenges and do not stand still as the world moves forward, making a raft of announcements to support that goal.

Williamson said: “The UK is a global power with truly global interests. A nation with the fifth biggest economy on the planet. A nation with the world’s fifth biggest Defence budget and the second largest Defence exporter. And since the new Global Great Game will be played on a global playing field, we must be prepared to compete for our interests and our values far, far from home.”

To support this aspiration, the Defence Secretary announced new strategic assets that will allow Britain to meet the global challenges the future might hold. Two new Littoral Strike Groups are to be created. Complete with escorts, support vessels and helicopters, one would be based to the East of Suez in the Indo-Pacific and one based to the West of Suez in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic.

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