AUKUS: Shared Security Priorities

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – in the House of Commons on 26th October 2021.

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Photo of Ruth Edwards Ruth Edwards Conservative, Rushcliffe

What steps she is taking to establish partnerships founded on shared security priorities following the trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the United States.

Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Conservative, Eastleigh

What steps she is taking to establish partnerships founded on shared security priorities following the trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the United States.

Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

What steps she is taking to establish partnerships founded on shared security priorities following the trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the United States.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss Minister for Women and Equalities, Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

To protect freedom and democracy around the world, it is vital that we deepen our security relationships with friends and allies. AUKUS represents a long-term commitment to deeper co-operation on future defence capabilities with Australia and the United States, and we want to build on it, including with other partners.

Photo of Ruth Edwards Ruth Edwards Conservative, Rushcliffe

I thank the Secretary of State for her answer. Could she set out how the Government intend to expand the scope of partnerships such as AUKUS to cover civilian and dual-use technologies such as semi- conductor chips and 5G?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss Minister for Women and Equalities, Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

My hon. Friend is right; we must ensure that technology standards and advances are shaped by the free world, whether that is the free flow of data, cyber, artificial intelligence, 5G or quantum computing. In India this week I agreed a partnership on future technology, especially on 5G. We are also working with the US and other partners to shape the future of technology.

Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Conservative, Eastleigh

I thank my right hon. Friend for her earlier answer. She recently spoke of building

“a network of liberty across the globe.”

Beyond Australia and the United States, can she advise the House of any other nations with which she would like to deepen our security relationship, to improve our position and security across the globe?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss Minister for Women and Equalities, Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Alongside AUKUS and of course NATO we are building partnerships with other allies. I recently hosted the Baltic three to talk about increased co-operation in the area, we have agreed enhanced co-operation with Greece and we are in talks with Japan about future security co-operation.

Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

My right hon. Friend correctly spoke about the network of liberty referred to earlier. What discussions has she had with the world’s largest democracy, India, on security co-operation?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss Minister for Women and Equalities, Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

India is a very strong ally of the United Kingdom and we want to work more closely together across a range of security and defence issues. While I was in Mumbai, the UK carrier strike group was stationed off the coast; we have just conducted the UK’s largest ever joint exercise with Indian armed forces, and we are now deepening that co-operation.