Factbox-UK announces post-Brexit foreign and defense priorities
Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the UK government's post-Brexit foreign and defense policy priorities, pledging to expand UK influence in the Indo-Pacific to try to reduce Chinese dominance.
Here are the highlights of the comprehensive review of the new UK policy:
The United States remains Britain's most important partner. The UK government says it will strengthen cooperation in traditional policy areas such as security and intelligence, and will seek to expand it where the two countries can do more together, such as fighting illicit financial transactions.
The security and prosperity of Europe will remain a particularly important policy area for the UK. The UK government says that Brexit allows the UK to designate a distinct approach to foreign policy, but it will work with the EU where the interests of the country and the bloc coincide - for example, in supporting the stability and security of the European continent and in cooperation in combating climate change and preserving biodiversity.
Until relations with Russia improve, the UK government says it will actively contain and defend the country from the full range of threats posed by Russia, including with NATO assistance. The British government will demand that Russia be held accountable for violating international norms and rules, and will also support the countries of Eastern Europe and adjacent regions.
The UK government will seek closer engagement in the Indo-Pacific region through existing contacts such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and by joining the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Over the next four years, the UK will invest at least £ 6.6 billion in cutting-edge next-generation research and development in areas such as space, directed energy weapons and advanced high-speed rockets.
To reaffirm its commitment to NATO leadership, the UK will increase its defense budget by more than £ 24 billion over the next four years and remain NATO's largest European sponsor, with defense spending currently accounting for 2.2% of the country's GDP.