Sunday Telegraph article: Global Britain is planting its flag on the world stage

This article was first published in the Sunday Telegraph 

This week, world leaders are gathering at the United Nations in New York. As Britain’s new Foreign Secretary, I will be there making the case for building deeper economic, diplomatic and security partnerships in order to help us seize the opportunities – and tackle the challenges – of the modern age.

We are proud of the United Kingdom and our role in the world. We are delivering vaccines in record time as a strong science and tech superpower. We are a global leader in development, delivering support for those in need, and raising huge sums to support girls’ education. We are a fierce champion of freedom and free enterprise, promoting democracy and equality around the world, including empowering women and advancing LGBT rights.

But freedoms need to be defended, so we are also building strong security ties around the world. That is why last week the Prime Minister announced, alongside our friends President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison, the creation of a new security partnership called AUKUS.

We will be working closer together to use a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, from nuclear-powered submarines at first and then looking at artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts. It also shows our commitment to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The Prime Minister highlighted the vital strategic importance of that region when he set out his vision for Global Britain in the Integrated Review of foreign, security and development policy earlier this year.

This is about more than foreign policy in the abstract, but delivering for people across the UK and beyond by partnering with like-minded countries to build coalitions based on shared values and shared interests. For example, our new security pact will not just make us safer at home, it could also create hundreds of new and high-skilled jobs, from the shipyards of Govan to the factories of Tyneside.

That is why we are deepening our connections with the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, including in the Indo-Pacific. We are already the first country to launch negotiations to join the £9 trillion Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) since it was established in 2018, and others have indicated that they could follow us. We are also working with the US, as our closest ally, to finance developing countries to build new, clean infrastructure to boost their economies.

Britain has always been at its best as an outward-looking, positive nation, confident in its ability to innovate, compete and lead. That is why we are working to open ourselves to the opportunities of the future with radical regulatory reform in areas from financial services to digital and data – and championing the cause of reform and openness on the world stage.

I will ensure that our embassies and high commissions are banging the drum for Britain as a global force for good on vital issues such as tackling climate change and beating COVID-19, while also helping to secure the investment we need to stimulate enterprise and level-up the country.

My visit to the UN is the start of an autumn where Global Britain plants its flag on the world stage. In the coming weeks, we will be hosting the first Global Investment Summit, including a reception with Her Majesty the Queen. We will also be hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, and a meeting of G7 Foreign and Development Ministers in Liverpool – that great historic port city which shows the prosperity and thriving cultural life that comes with being an international hub.

This is Global Britain in action: going out into the world in a positive and confident spirit to tackle the major challenges of our age alongside our friends and allies. I want us to project this vision to the world and ensure that everyone in Britain knows that our best days lie ahead.

By positioning the UK at the heart of a network of economic, diplomatic and security partnerships, and helping other countries grow through enterprise and trade, we are making our country safer and more competitive, standing up for our values, and confirming our status as the best place to live, work and do business. This is how, as Foreign Secretary, I will ensure our foreign policy delivers for people across our great country.

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