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Prime Minister to strengthen historic UK-Australia partnership

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  • UK strengthens partnership with Australia in defence, security, climate and trade
  • The Prime Minister will speak with Scott Morrison in a video call this evening to agree further bilateral cooperation
  • UK set to announce £25m to support security and resilience in the Indo-Pacific, plus new defense and climate science projects

The UK and Australia are expected to agree further steps to boost bilateral cooperation and work more closely together in the Indo-Pacific, during a conference call with leaders this evening [Wednesday 16th Feb].

The Prime Minister will speak with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison via secure video call to discuss common defense and security issues, including the current situation in Ukraine, as well as trade and technology collaboration.

As part of the UK’s tilt towards the Indo-Pacific, the Prime Minister will announce £25million for regional projects to build 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 the opportunities for UK workers, businesses and consumers to reap the benefits of this comprehensive deal and large scope.

It will welcome two major new investments, with Australian fintech PEXA expanding into the UK as its first international market and UK financial services company Octopus Group developing a major renewable energy project. To boost UK-Australia collaboration on clean technology, Octopus Australia is partnering with a group of Indigenous businesses to create Desert Springs Octopus, a £26 billion project on ten years that will provide wind, solar and hydrogen energy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The UK and Australia are working together to strengthen regional security in the Indo-Pacific, drive innovation in green science and technology, and increase opportunities for our businesses and citizens.

Our nations are forging a new partnership based on a historic alliance, fit for the next century and based on our shared priorities of security, democracy and free and fair trade.

Leaders are expected to underscore their personal commitment to the AUKUS partnership, including the collective effort with the United States to provide the Royal Australian Navy with a conventionally armed nuclear submarine capability, and commit to increased activity Joint Naval Service in the Indo-Pacific.

The UK and Australia will also strengthen their cooperation in science and technology through a new series of science partnerships aimed at bringing together our world-class research communities. The UK will bolster the UK-Australia Space Bridge agreement, struck a year ago, with a new £1million commitment for Earth observation in the agroclimat to help farmers deal with climate change. Both countries will recommit to the Glasgow Climate Pact and the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.