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UK pitches ‘global Britain’ by flexing military muscle: defense minister

FILE PHOTO: British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson speaks during a news conference onboard a Ukrainian Navy frigate, Getman Sagaidachny, in Odessa, Ukraine December 21, 2018. REUTERS/Yevgeny Volokin/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May’s “Global Britain” slogan is more than a pithy phrase because the United Kingdom will be ready to flex its military muscles after it leaves the European Union, defense minister Gavin Williamson said on Monday.

“Since the new global great game will be played on a global playing field, we must be prepared compete for our interests and our values far, far from home,” Williamson said.

“That is why ‘Global Britain’ needs to be much more than a pithy phrase: it has to be about action, and our armed forces represent the best of ‘Global Britain’ in action,” he said.

He announced that the first mission of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will include work in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Pacific regions, and the vessel would carry British and U.S. F-35 jets.

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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