The UK and Australia have signed a new defence, security and trade agreement as a part of the government’s efforts to strengthen its foothold in the Indo-Pacific.
Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison spoke at 8.30pm this evening to formalise the pact, which will see the UK agree to spend £25m for “regional projects [in the Indo-Pacific] to strengthen resilience in cyberspace, state threats and maritime security”.
The new agreement comes after the UK, Australia and US formed the Aukus pact last year, which will see Australia build nuclear submarines with the help of the other two nations.
Aukus was seen as a move to bulk up defence capabilities against an increasingly expansionist China.
“The UK and Australia are working together to enhance regional security in the Indo-Pacific, drive innovation in science and green technology and boost opportunities for our businesses and citizens,” Johnson said.
“Our nations are forging a new partnership from a historic alliance, fit for the next century and grounded in our shared priorities on security, democracy and free and fair trade.”
Number 10 also unveiled two investments made in the wake of the post-Brexit trade deal between the two countries – Australian fintech firm PEXA wil expand into the UK and UK energy company Octopus will develop a £26bn greenfield renewables project in Australia.