Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Gavin Williamson challenged to take a different view on security

Gavin Williamson challenged to take a different view on security

The politician made the remarks as London prepares to send its largest warship, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the South China Sea on a mission to enforce freedom of navigation rights.

"Brexit has led us to a great moment in our history".

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Williamson said the U.K. also planned to open bases in Asia and the Caribbean region.

"The idea that our membership of the European Union restricts us is the purest nonsense", Labour MP Chris Leslie said.

He said: "In NATO, we must stand firm against Russia's non-compliance with the INF Treaty, if necessary being ready to deal with the threat that new Russian missile systems may pose".

"We have to be ready to show the high price of aggressive behaviour". "Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost".

He said the United Kingdom would build new alliances and rekindle old ones, and shared his belief that Britain "should be the nation that people turn to when the world needs leadership".

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".

The £3 billion ($3.9 billion) carrier's outing will also sail into the Middle East and Mediterranean and will be officially a mixed U.K./U.S. deployment.

He noted the increased use by UK's adversaries of cyberattacks, sabotage, and information operations, challenging the worldwide rules-based system, acting in the gray zone and stopping short of bringing their activity to the level of ordinary conflict.

"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.

"Against adversaries upping their spending and advancing technology, we have to respond", Williamson added.

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