Today’s daily politics briefing
“At 2200 BST tonight the Prime Minister will make an on-camera address, alongside US President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Morrison, on a strategic national security announcement,” Downing Street said in a statement.
Politico has reported that the three leaders will announce a new working group, known by the acronym AUKUS, to help the countries share information in key technological areas, such as artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.
It said sources had put forward that the “subtext” to the move was a bid by Western allies to “push back on China’s rise in the military and technology arenas”.
The joint announcement is also expected to confirm that the US will provide a nuclear-powered submarine to Australia, with Scott Morrison’s government abandoning its $90bn submarine deal with France, according to reports.
The leader of Canada’s Conservative Party has questioned why his country has been left out of the expected alliance between the UK, US and Australia to be announced tonight.
“Canada left out again… Do our allies just not trust [Justin] Trudeau?” Erin O’Toole, who is the country’s leader of the opposition, wrote on Twitter.
Conrad Duncan15 September 2021 21:52
ICYMI: Johnson flexes muscles with shake-up of cabinet for post-Covid era
It has already been a busy day for Boris Johnson, who reshuffled his Cabinet this afternoon in a major shake-up of his government.
The prime minister replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary with Liz Truss following the chaotic withdrawal of western troops from Afghanistan and dismissed his education secretary Gavin Williamson after a series of gaffes and missteps in office.
Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:
Conrad Duncan15 September 2021 21:40
Boris Johnson ‘to announce new alliance with US and Australia’
Boris Johnson is set to announce a new alliance with the US and Australia with the aim of countering China’s global power, according to reports.
It has been reported that Mr Johnson, US president Joe Biden and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison will announce a new working group, known by the acronym AUKUS, to allow the countries to share information in key technological areas.
These are expected to include artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.
In an integrated review of security and foreign policy earlier this year, the UK government outlined plans for a “tilt” in focus towards the Indo-Pacific region, with aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth being deployed on a voyage east.
Conrad Duncan15 September 2021 21:25
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Boris Johnson’s national security announcement tonight.
Conrad Duncan15 September 2021 21:14