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UK calls for closer post-Brexit defence ties with India

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Britain's Defence on Monday called for closer ties with as the UK prepares to leave the (EU) next month.

In a speech on modernising the UK's armed forces at the (RUSI) in London, Williamson said plans for a "Global Britain" involve using the country's capabilities to strengthen its global presence and taking action to shore up the worldwide system of rules and standards.

"Brexit has brought us to a moment. A great moment in our history. A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass," said Williamson.

"So, as well as our relationships with Europe, we need to build on our established relationship with the United States, Australia, and as part of the Five EyesWith other ASEAN nations, with Japan, the Republic of Korea and India," he said.

The enhanced global engagement is not a "reflex reaction" to leaving the EU but about building a "permanent presence", he added.

Naming and among the states that pose a threat with their increasing military might, the warned that while Britain tackled the extremism of Al Qaeda and (ISIS), state-on-state competition from these countries has been on the rise.

"Today, is resurgent rebuilding its military arsenal and seeking to bring the independent countries of the former Soviet Union, like and Ukraine, back into its orbit. All the while, is developing its modern military capability and its commercial power," he warned.

As part of investment plans for the armed forces, the for Defence revealed that the UK would be making a "significant additional investment" on the 1.9-billion pounds being spent on cyber warfare capabilities.

"It will give us extra money to protect our network resilience from online attacks," he said.

In reference to threats from terrorist groups, the revealed that the country's (RAF) would be doubling its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability in order to be able identify and neutralise such targets far faster.

"The Venom kinetic strike capability will mean those who wish to do us harm have more to fear," he said.

The speech, seen as a pre-Brexit intervention on highlighting the country's military capabilities, outlined some of the plans for the 1.8-billion pounds in extra funding the was able to secure from the UK Treasury department last year.

"It will not always be the role of the traditional Western powers to act as a but nor can we walk-on-by when others are in need. To talk, but fail to act, risks our nation being seen as nothing more than a paper tiger," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 21:00 IST