Plans to build two new military bases in the Southeast Asia and the Caribbean is in the drawing board as UK works to boost its military presence abroad and assert itself to become a genuine and potent global player after it leaves the EU. In the SEA, Singapore is being eyed as a possible site for these new military bases according to Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson.
According to Williamson, the plan is a significant component in the British’ effort to increase UK’s role on the international stage. “We have got to make it clear that that is a policy that has been ripped up and Britain is once again a global nation,” Williamson said.
The Defense Secretary proposes that Britons should be more hopeful about the post-Brexit future of the UK. He stated that the 1960s strategy of pulling back from areas “east of Suez” has been scrapped, as the UK takes hold of the opportunity to affirm its role on the world stage.
“This is our biggest moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War, when we can recast ourselves in a different way, we can actually play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play…..For so long – literally for decades – so much of our national view point has actually been colored by a discussion about the European Union…..This is our moment to be that true global player once more – and I think the Armed Forces play a really important role as part of that,” Williamson emphasized.
Secretary Williamson added that a dramatic shift in political focus following UK’s departure from the EU is expected, as Britain will establish closer ties with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Caribbean states and other nations across Africa.
He also claimed that these countries will soon look to the UK for moral guidance, military direction and global leadership
as they will realize that “we are good partners and actually the values that we stand for of tolerance, democracy and justice, are the values that they hold dear to their hearts…..I am also very much looking at how can we get as much of our resources forward based, actually creating a deterrent but also taking a British presence….We are looking at those opportunities not just in the Far East but in the Caribbean as well.”
Williamson did not reveal the precise location of the two new military bases but Singapore is being eyed in the South China Sea, or Montserrat or Guyana in the Caribbean.
Britain currently has permanent military bases in Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.