Russia remains the “most acute direct threat” to Britain, according to a government report released on Tuesday which outlines London’s post-Brexit security policy, including an increase in the nuclear stockpile.
In Boris Johnson’s “Integrated Review,” Britain’s biggest foreign and defence policy review since the end of the Cold War, the prime minister vowed Britain would remain a part of NATO and work with “allies and partners” to address challenges to security in the “physical world” and online.
“However, until relations with its government improve, we will actively deter and defend against the full spectrum of threats emanating from Russia.
“We will continue to exceed the NATO guideline of spending 2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence, and to declare our nuclear and offensive cyber capabilities to Allies’ defence,” Johnson added.
The strategy also outlines a plan to expand Britain’s nuclear stockpile in an effort to protect homeland security, increasing the cap on nuclear warheads from 180 to 260.
Britain will also try to expand its influence within countries in the Indo-Pacific region due to China’s global dominance, which has “major implications” for British values and interests, the report states.
The document reads: “China and the UK both benefit from bilateral trade and investment, but China also presents the biggest state-based threat to the UK’s economic security.”
In recent years, Britain has clashed with China over a new security law in Hong Kong and its treatment of the Uighur Muslims, a minority who live in Xinjiang province in China’s far west.
Britain’s relationship with Russia has soured in recent years after certain incidents, such as the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil in March 2018.
The pair nearly died after coming into contact with a poison, called Novichok, allegedly placed at their home in the town of Salisbury, according to British authorities.
Britain also accused Russia of interfering in the 2015 British general election after a cyberattack hit lawmakers in parliament in the election’s run-up.
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