United Kingdom pitches 'global Britain' by flexing military muscle: defense minister

HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy to the Middle East and Pacific on her maiden operational mission

He also warned in a speech that the United Kingdom needs a bolder and stronger armed forces prepared to use "hard power".

Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office played down another of Williamson's suggestions, to deploy Britain's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, in a challenge to China in the Pacific.

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

The defence secretary said Russian Federation is "resurgent" and rebuilding its military arsenal, adding that China is also developing its modern capability and commercial power. "As uncertainty grows, we must be ready to act and bring others with us".

Mr Williamson added "state-on-state competition was reviving" through proxy wars such as operations to eliminate Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Syria and the wider Middle East where Western countries and Moscow have clashed over policy.

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

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The HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain's largest warship, is slated to head to the Pacific region, U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said Monday.

"The idea that our membership of the European Union restricts us is the purest nonsense", Labour MP Chris Leslie said. "Ready to strengthen our resilience".

He said the £3 billion aircraft carrier's first mission is part of "making Global Britain a reality".

He will claim that the cost of non-interventions has often been "unacceptably high" and argue that Western powers can not ignore those in need as "to talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger".

The combined US-UK air wing aboard the carrier will improve "the reach and lethality of our forces" while "reinforcing the fact that the United States remains our very closest of partners", he said.

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