Sir Ian Botham comments on trade and Brexit
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Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the UK’s move towards the Indo-Pacific region will help grow the UK economy.
It will also help flex the UK’s military muscles in a region increasingly dominated by China.
The Minister for Indo-Pacific will deliver a keynote speech tomorrow on Britain’s growing influence in the region after leaving the EU.
Speaking at the think tank Asia House she is expected to say: “The Indo-Pacific is home to billions of people, thriving economies and cutting-edge science and tech.
“During the next 50 years, it will be the epicentre of global prosperity, the hotbed of geopolitical challenges and the place where our fight against climate change will be won or lost.
“It is of critical importance to this Government’s priorities, and the Prime Minister’s commitment to growing the UK’s economy. That is why we are committed to boosting ties in the region.”
Last year the UK moved into the second and final stage of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade area worth £8.4 trillion.
Earlier this month Rishi Sunak vowed Britain and Japan are “stronger than ever” after the two countries signed a historic defence agreement to allow them to deploy forces in one another’s countries.
The deal will make the UK the first European country to have such an agreement with Japan.
No.10 called it the most important defence treaty between London and Tokyo since 1902.
Ms Trevelyan will also set out how the UK’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region can help tackle the global impact of conflict on energy and food costs.
She is expected to say: “As the Prime Minister has set out, we must be stronger in defending our values and the openness on which our prosperity depends.
“A stronger economy at home must be the foundation of our strength abroad.
“In an increasingly volatile world, it would be irresponsible to choose between supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific, and defending freedom and democracy alongside NATO allies in Europe. These are not mutually exclusive aspirations, they are indivisible.”
“To overlook one in favour of the other would put our economic security and resilience at risk, allowing others to fill the void and threaten stability and freedom.
“In anything, the illegal invasion of Ukraine has underlined the importance of the Indo-Pacific, by demonstrating the global impact of conflict on energy and food costs.
“We can be proud that the UK is standing squarely behind Ukraine, as are many of our Indo-Pacific friends.“
Aiming the government’s crosshairs at China, she will highlight the UK’s landmark AUKUS military pact with the USA and Australia.
“We are also looking forward to Italy and Japan partnering with us to develop the next generation of fighter jets, as well as our work alongside the US to help Australia build and support their next generation of nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS partnership.
“These long-term partnerships cement our enduring commitment to safeguarding freedom and democracy across the world.”
Ms Trevelyan, the former International Trade Secretary under Boris Johnson, will also point out how the UK is sanctioning human rights abusers in Myanmar and nuclear weapons developers in North Korea.
“Our Royal Navy has two vessels permanently stationed in the region, on-hand to support our partners, like during the Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami last year,” she will add.
“While our newly signed Reciprocal Access Agreement with Japan see us expand and accelerate our military footprint in the region, with more frequent and larger training missions and exercises.”
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