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British Queen celebrates


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made an oral statement to the House of Commons following his return from the G7 summit in Japan.

Mr Speaker, the whole House will join me in remembering the victims of the horrific Manchester Arena bombing, six years ago today. Our thoughts are with them and their families.

Our thoughts are also with the family of Lee Rigby on the tenth anniversary of his murder, and I pay tribute to his son Jack, who’s honouring his father’s memory by raising money for other bereaved military children.

As Jack’s mum says, Lee would be very proud.

Mr Speaker, I’ve just returned from the G7 Summit in Japan where I was humbled to be the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to visit Hiroshima.

On behalf of this House and the British people, I recorded our great sorrow at the destruction and human suffering that occurred there and our fervent resolve that it should never again be necessary to use nuclear weapons.

As I report to the House on the G7 Summit, I want to address head on a mistaken view that is heard too often.

The idea that Britain is somehow in retreat from the world stage or that our influence is in decline. I reject that utterly.

What we’ve seen in recent months, is this Conservative government delivering the priorities of the British people and bringing our global influence to bear on some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Nowhere is that clearer than Ukraine.

It was a pleasure and privilege to welcome my friend, President Zelenskyy back to the UK last week.

His attendance at the G7 summit was a historic moment.

When Putin launched this war, he gambled that our resolve would falter. But he was wrong then and he is wrong now.

Russia’s military is failing on the battlefield. Their economy is failing at home, as we tighten the stranglehold of sanctions and the image of the G7 leaders standing shoulder to shoulder with President Zelenskyy in Hiroshima sent a powerful message to the world: we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Of course, we’ve seen a huge collective effort across our allies – not least the United States.

But I’m incredibly proud of our role at the forefront of international support for Ukraine.

The first country in the world to train Ukrainian troops. First in Europe to provide lethal weapons. First to commit tanks.

And just this month – first to provide long range missiles.

And we’re now at the forefront of a coalition to train and equip the Ukrainian air force.

We gave £2.3 billion in miliary aid last year, second only to the United States - and will match or exceed that this year.

Putin should know that we are not going anywhere.

And we know that Ukraine will not only win the war but can and will win a just and lasting peace - based on respect for international law, the principles of the UN Charter, and territorial integrity and sovereignty.

And Mr Speaker, we bring the same resolve to the biggest challenge to the long-term security and prosperity of our age – China.

As the G7 showed, the UK’s response is completely aligned with our allies.

We are working with others to strengthen our defence ties across the Indo-Pacific, diversify our supply chains in areas like critical minerals and semiconductors and prevent China using economic coercion to interfere with the sovereignty of others.

Concrete actions, not rhetoric.

But our economic security is not just about managing the risks of China, Mr Speaker.

We’re taking advantage of our post-Brexit freedoms with a hugely ambitious trade policy.

We’ve concluded negotiations on the CPTPP—a trade deal with the world’s fastest growing region.

We’ve signed critical minerals partnerships with Canada and Australia.

A semiconductor partnership with Japan.

The Windsor Framework secures the free flow of trade within our UK internal market.

And on Friday, we announced almost £18 billion of new investment into the UK from Japanese businesses. That’s a huge vote of confidence in the UK.

Creating significant numbers of good, well-paid jobs and helping grow the economy.

And Mr Speaker, we are acting globally to tackle illegal migration.

It is the British government who will determine who comes to Britain. We must stop the boats and break the business model of the criminal gangs.

To do that, we’re deepening international cooperation to tackle illegal migration through new deals with Albania, France, and just at last week’s Council of Europe meeting – starting with the EU border force too.

And at this weekend’s Summit, we’ve secured agreement that we will increase G7 cooperation, too.

So, Mr Speaker, our foreign policy is clearly delivering for the British people.

By strengthening our relationships with old friends and new, from the Indo-Pacific to Washington to Europe, we’re delivering a diplomatic dividend for the UK.

And that’s not all.

We’ve announced billions more for defence - the largest European contributor to NATO.

We’ve signed an historic agreement to design and build the AUKUS submarine, giving the UK, Australia, and the US, inter-operable submarine fleets in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

We’ve launched a new programme to build the fighter jets of the future with Italy and Japan, announced that in 2025, the Carrier Strike Group will return to the Indo-Pacific once more and in Sudan, the British military completed the largest evacuation of any country.

And if anyone thinks the UK is no longer able to wield hard power in defence of our values just ask the Ukrainian soldiers driving British tanks or firing our long-range missiles.

All that, Mr Speaker, is how we will prosper at home and defend our values abroad.

That’s how our foreign policy is delivering for the British people.

And that’s why on the world stage, Britain is forging ahead – confident, proud, and free.

And I commend this statement to the House. Photo by HM Treasury, Wikimedia commons.