LONDON — Britain’s “Global Britain” blueprint is necessary for its “safety and prosperity” in the coming decades, Boris Johnson said Tuesday.
Unveiling a 100-page report setting out the U.K.’s foreign policy priorities post Brexit, Johnson insisted it was the most comprehensive such review since the Cold War and was not a “vainglorious gesture.”
Johnson, a leading voice in the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, said: “The truth is that even if we wished it — and of course we do not — the U.K. could never turn inwards or be content with the cramped horizons of a regional foreign policy.”
The United States would be the U.K.’s “greatest ally” in all its endeavors due to the two countries’ unique intelligence and security partnership, Johnson said.
The report, which highlights the security threats posed by Russia and China, sets out to end three decades of gradual nuclear disarmament by lifting a cap on the U.K.’s stockpile of nuclear weapons from 180 to 260. It is a move Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab earlier said was the “ultimate insurance policy” against threats from hostile states.
However, Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said the U.K. had broken the goal of successive governments to reduce the nuclear stockpile without explaining “when, why or for what strategic purpose.”
The long-anticipated review attempts to reconcile competing approaches to the U.K.’s relationship with China. While acknowledging the superpower represents a security threat, it says the U.K. should still seek a positive trading and economic relationship with Beijing, including on issues such as climate change.
Johnson has been under pressure from many MPs in his own party to toughen the U.K.’s stance on China, particularly on issues such as its clampdown on Uyghur Muslims, democratic rights in Hong Kong and repeated Chinese state-backed cyber-attacks on U.K. targets.
Johnson told MPs in a statement to the House of Commons following the publication of the report that there was “no question that China will pose a great challenge for an open society such as ours” but said the U.K. would “work with China where that is consistent with our values, and interests, including building a stronger and positive economic relationship, and in addressing climate change.”
The report, which follows a year-long review of U.K. foreign policy following its departure from the European Union, tilts its focus towards the Indo-Pacific region — which it describes as “critical to our economy, our security and our global ambition to support open societies.”Want more analysis from POLITICO? POLITICO Pro is our premium intelligence service for professionals. From financial services to trade, technology, cybersecurity and more, Pro delivers real time intelligence, deep insight and breaking scoops you need to keep one step ahead. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a complimentary trial.
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-global-britain-blueprint-not-vainglorious-gesture/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication