Saturday, 17 Apr 2021

£65bn Brexit boom! UK could join historic Quad in new alliance – ‘Major turning point’

WW3: General Nick Carter warns of ‘real risk’ of conflict

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The Integrated Review, published on March 16, and the Defence Command Paper, published on March 22, will outline the benefits in more detail. The review will set out Ministry of Defence plans for modernising the Armed Forces with a £23-25billion defence spend.

It will also suggest whom Britain should look to enhance economic development and world standing.

Whitehall officials told Express.co.uk the review would be a “major turning point” in UK relations.

But the review is expected to receive backlash as it urges the UK and Britain to snub traditional alliances with EU countries.

One of these options could be joining the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which includes Japan, the United States, India, and Australia, and was launched in 2007 as a defence forum.

Whitehall officials admitted Britain could be interested in joining the historic bloc in a boost to British defence and the world economy since leaving the EU.

The group initially intended to preserve the status quo of a peaceful Indo-Pacific region and counter China’s assertive policies involving the South China Sea.

China says it is rapidly modernising its defence forces and increasing its military presence in the disputed waters to which the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also all lay claim.

However, the defence grouping is also slowly turning into a trade bloc as the four nations committed to coordinating more with each other economically especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The four countries have also worked together to improve the flow of vaccines, medicines and medical equipment.

The four partners are also working on developing regional infrastructure projects and as well as agreeing on a collective vision of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Currently, UK trade between the four nations is approximately worth £66.5bn, according to UK Government figures with Government officials set to or negotiating deals with Australia, India and the USA.

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India said it was up to the grouping how it wants to do things but stressed the UK was open to joining if it opens membership options.

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At a media briefing, he said: “What is clear is I would be expecting us to be working closely with Japan, India, US and Australia in this region.

“How you go about it is a good question.

“Not quite institutionally how it would work but one thing is for sure, we will work with all four of these countries in this part of the world.”

Mr Ellis said the UK Government’s integrated security, defence and foreign policy review would also clearly indicate a tilt towards developing Indo-Pacific relations.

He added the Indo-Pacific is going to be “great growth area of the world”.

Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter, who will oversee the initial implementation of the integrated review, said: “There is much to do.

“Last year’s substantial settlement of £24.1-billion for defence, announced by the Prime Minister in November, gives us the stability and confidence to modernise the armed forces to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that will be laid out in the Integrated Review.

It is a great privilege to be at the heart of this and to play my part in ensuring that our soldiers, sailors, aviators, space and cyber warriors have the skills and equipment they need to win.”

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