AUKUS shows Brexit Britain is free from 'stilted and timid' EU policies, claims ex-Colonel

Colonel Richard Kemp, 62, believes Boris Johnson’s defence deal with US President Joe Biden and Australian premier Scott Morrison shows Brexit Britain has taken back control of its foreign policy agenda. AUKUS will enable London, Washington and Canberra to share greater intelligence and give Australia the technology needed to build nuclear-powered submarines.

The veteran commander, who spent 29-years in the British Army, told “AUKUS shows that Britain is no longer tied to stilted and timid EU foreign policies.”

The 62-year-old added: “Brexit has given us greater freedom to act in our national interests and the interests of our most important allies without fearing a row in Brussels or other European capitals.”

But Colonel Kemp, who led the British Army in Afghanistan in 2003, also said the EU should focus its efforts on trade rather than attempting to implement foreign policies that infringe upon national sovereignty.

Kemp’s comments come after some nations in the Brussels bloc were left frustrated by the AUKUS alliance.

Many top European officials have expressed a desire to create a united European army that would incorporate servicemen from across the 27 EU member states.

But officials in Paris appear to feel the most aggrieved by the AUKUS alliance following Australia’s decision to cancel a €56billion deal to purchase diesel-powered submarines from a French company.

Some officials in France even suggested Britain’s “opportunism” had seen it become a “vassal” state to the Americans.

When asked about the reaction in France, Colonel Kemp argued London should look past the snide comments and maintain a close cross-Channel relationship.

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“We should not be too concerned about French insults,” he said.

Kemp added: “France is a vitally important ally and we should be working to include them in Western efforts to confront our enemies.”

But the alliance has also been touted by commentators as a success for Boris Johnson in bolstering Anglo-American relations.

The so-called ‘special relationship’ had come under increasing pressure in recent months, including during the botched evacuation of Kabul.

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While China was not explicitly referred to during the virtual press conference held two weeks ago, the ex-Commander hopes AUKUS will mark a significant change in foreign policy that would see Western nations look to contain “Chinese intimidation” in the Pacific.

“AUKUS needs to be expanded against China, bringing in other friendly countries, and showing potential allies that we are no longer supine but are now ready to come to their aid against Chinese intimidation,” he said.

Kemp went on to play down the “faint-hearted fears” that the pact could drag Britain into war in Asia.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May was among those who have questioned the viability of AUKUS after she asked her successor in Number 10 whether the alliance could bring Britain into conflict in Taiwan.

But Kemp argued the Anglosphere defence deal has ensured war is even less likely.

“The reality is that by constructing a strong alliance which shows it means business makes war far less likely.”

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