UK says military ties with US to reach ‘new heights’ after Brexit

British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson says military cooperation with the US is set to reach “new heights” after leaving the European Union (EU).
Publish date : Tuesday 4 December 2018 12:32
Code: 382957
 

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Monday, Williamson said the UK military was planning to expand its global reach after Brexit and the US played a central role in its plans for the future.

“The UK has been with the US through thick and thin – we share values and stand together in global leadership. The UK is not slipping back to our shores but is in fact stepping out,” he said.

“Our budget is rising year-on-year, boosted by more than a billion dollars to invest in Armed Forces, and in 2019 we are poised to take our great relationship to even greater heights,” the minister added.

The UK has struck a deal with the EU to  complete the divorce in the coming years, but Prime Minister Theresa May faces a difficult job selling her deal to British lawmakers.

The deal is necessary for London to break free from the bloc’s legal web and forge free trade deals with the US and other countries across the globe.

However, May’s deal has even failed to convince US President Donald Trump, a strong Brexit supporter.

“Sounds like a great deal for the EU,” Trump said of the deal late last month, warning the UK “may not be able to trade with us and that wouldn’t be a good thing.”

London’s plans for post-Brexit trade are heavily dependent on arms sales and military cooperation with the US.

Blinded by what London and Washington insist is a “special relationship,” the British military has notoriously followed America into two costly conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan without scoring any meaningful political or economic gains.

The UK is also part of the US-led coalition that has been pounding purported terrorist positions inside Syria and Iraq.

The coalition has prompted global criticism for targeting civilian targets as well as Syrian forces fighting terrorists.

Desperate to push back against Brexit’s possible economic consequences, London has also chosen to ignore Saudi Arabia’s atrocities in Yemen and authorize more arms deals with the Riyadh regime.

Together with the their American peers, British arms producers have been providing the Saudi war machine with missiles, fighter jets and other advanced weaponry since the beginning of the Yemen War in 2015.

The UK is also heavily invested in the US-led F-35 stealth fighter jet program, becomng Washington’s only tier one partner on the project.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project is the world’s most expensive weapon at over $1.3 trillion. The UK has agreed to manufacture 15 percent of every one of over 3,000 jets ordered.

London has earmarked £9.1 billion to buy 48 of the jets by 2025 and a total of 138 in the long run.

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