10 Downing Street
Prime Minister: “freedom and openness have never been achieved by standing still”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will deliver his first major foreign policy speech at Guildhall in London this evening.
- Rishi Sunak to deliver first major foreign policy speech at Guildhall in London
- Prime Minister will set out his foreign policy and approach to countries including Russia and China
- He will argue for a dynamic foreign policy, underpinned by economic security at home
The Prime Minister will set out his vision for a foreign policy which stands up for the UK’s values throughout the world, and uses a strong domestic economy to underpin our relationships overseas in a speech today (Monday 28th October).
Addressing the Lord Mayor’s Banquet the Prime Minister, who has forged strong relationships with international partners in his first month in office at the COP27 and G20 Summits and in meetings with the head of NATO and President of Ukraine, will outline his ambitions for the UK’s overseas policy.
The Prime Minister will argue that states like Russia and China plan for the long-term and the UK needs to follow suit. He will stress the importance of reinvigorating relationships in Europe while also deepening ties in the Indo-pacific.
He is expected to say:
Freedom and openness have always been the most powerful forces for progress. But they have never been achieved by standing still.
Under my leadership we won’t choose the status quo. We will do things differently.
We will evolve, anchored always by our enduring belief in freedom, openness and the rule of law and confident that, in this moment of challenge and competition, our interests will be protected and our values will prevail.
A week after he visited the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to meet President Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister will point to the UK’s overwhelming demonstration of support to the Ukrainian people as evidence of the strength of the UK’s values.
The Prime Minister will underscore his commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine in the face of horrific Russian aggression.
He is expected to say:
Ukrainian flags have flown over almost every town and city on these islands for the last nine months. No one told people to put them there.
They felt moved to show solidarity with people they have never met, in a country most have never visited, to show their faith in fairness, freedom and the rule of law.
…Be in no doubt. We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will maintain or increase our military aid next year. And we will provide new support for air defence, to protect the Ukrainian people and the critical infrastructure that they rely on.
By protecting Ukraine, we protect ourselves.
The UK is currently in the process of revising and updating the 2021 Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy to take account of the huge geopolitical shifts we have seen since the review was published, including the sharpening of inter-state competition due to the actions of countries like Russia, China and Iran.
This review will ensure that the UK remains on the cutting-edge of defence and security policy, keeping us safe around the world as we strengthen our foundations at home. It will set out the importance of building strong ties in Europe in the era after the UK’s departure from the EU, while also deepening partnerships in other parts of the world.
Stressing the importance of evolving and adapting to new challenges and threats, the Prime Minister is expected to say:
Our adversaries and competitors plan for the long term. In the face of these challenges, short-termism or wishful thinking will not suffice…
…So we will make an evolutionary leap in our approach. This means being stronger in defending our values and the openness on which our prosperity depends.
It means delivering a stronger economy at home – because it is the foundation of our strength abroad.
And it means standing up to our competitors, not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism.
This evening’s Lord Mayor’s Banquet is an annual event where the Prime Minister has the opportunity to address business leaders, international dignitaries and foreign policy experts on the subject of foreign policy. It will be the first major foreign policy speech given by Rishi Sunak since he became Prime Minister.
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