The United Kingdom and Australia are expected to agree new measures to boost bilateral cooperation and work more closely together in the Indo-Pacific, in a leaders conference call this evening [Wednesday 16th Feb].
The Prime Minister will speak to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison via secure video call to discuss shared defence and security issues, including the current situation in Ukraine, as well as trade and technology collaboration.
As part of the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific, the Prime Minister will announce £25m for regional projects to strengthen resilience in cyberspace, state threats and maritime security. The UK aims to be the European partner of choice in the Indo-Pacific and we are committed to working with Australia to promote peace and security in the region.
Following the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement signed in December, the Prime Minister will also highlight opportunities for British workers, businesses and consumers to reap the benefits of the comprehensive and wide-ranging deal.
He will welcome two major new investments, with Australian fintech firm PEXA expanding into the UK as its first international market and UK financial services company Octopus Group developing a major greenfield renewables project. In a boost for UK-Australia collaboration on clean tech, Octopus Australia is partnering with an Indigenous business group to create Desert Springs Octopus, a project worth £26bn over ten years that will deliver wind, solar and hydrogen energy.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “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.
“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.”
The leaders are expected underline their personal commitment to the AUKUS partnership, including the collective endeavour with the United States to provide the Royal Australian Navy with a conventional-armed nuclear-powered submarine capability, and to commit to increased joint naval activity in the Indo Pacific.
The UK and Australia will also boost cooperation on science and technology through a new Science Partnership Series to bring our world-class research communities together. The UK will enhance the UK-Australia Space Bridge Agreement, agreed a year ago, with a new £1m commitment for Earth Observation in Agroclimate to help farmers deal with a changing climate. Both countries will recommit to delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact and Paris Agreement to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees.