Post-Brexit Britain ready to use 'hard power'

Gavin Williamson

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London on Monday, Williamson said the 65,000-ton carrier Queen Elizabeth - which was commissioned in late 2017 - would also make appearances in the Mediterranean and Middle East along the way as Britain flexed its military muscles post-Brexit.

"A post-Brexit global Britain must be about taking action alongside our friends and allies and action to oppose those who flout worldwide law".

In a hawkish speech in London, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said leaving the European Union was an opportunity for Britain "when we must strengthen our global presence".

Williamson detailed plans to modernise the armed forces, and said it must increase its "mass and lethality".

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The carrier will take part in the mission along with F-35 jets from the United Kingdom and US.

Britain's defense minister says the country should bolster its military capabilities after Brexit and warned that Russian Federation should be aware that actions deemed unacceptable by the West will "come at a cost", according to a text seen by Reuters.

He said: "More European nations need to be ready and capable of responding to step up to a two percent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target and not being distracted by the notion of an EU army".

Williamson also said the country's cyber forces will be reinforced to defend and launch attacks.

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"To talk, but fail to act, risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger".

"Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost", Williamson will say in the speech, extracts of which were seen by Reuters.

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith said: "The UK's ability to play our role on the global stage has been completely undermined by eight years of Tory defence cuts".

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