News story

Defence Secretary in talks with US counterpart

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon met his US counterpart Ash Carter in Washington ahead of concluding his two-day visit to the United States.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon with US Counterpart Ash Carter. Crown Copyright.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon with US Counterpart Ash Carter. Crown Copyright.

During bilateral talks, the two Secretaries of State discussed operational activity against Daesh, the UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and reciprocal defence investment opportunities between the UK and US.

Speaking to assembled journalists, secretary Carter said:

The US has no better friend or ally than the UK. This is indeed a special relationship. Last week’s vote in the House of Commons provides further evidence of the enduring importance of this relationship.

Responding to his comments, Mr Fallon added that the US remains the UK’s “closest strategic partner” and hailed projects such as the F35 stealth jet programme as evidence of both sides’ “commitment to our relationship.”

Earlier in the day Mr Fallon addressed an audience at the Atlantic Council to deliver a speech entitled ‘Stronger Defence in a More Dangerous World’.

He spoke of the enduring and vital defence relationship between the UK and US and how it had been strengthened further by the SDSR and the recent Parliamentary vote to extend airstrikes into Syria.

Mr Fallon told the Council:

Our freedom was threatened by Nazi evil – and our nations united to defeat it, seventy years ago.

Today it’s threatened by a new evil - Islamist fascism. This year we’ve seen its followers slaying innocent American people in a San Bernadino day care centre, French people socialising in Paris, and British tourists on a Tunisian beach.

To defeat this evil we require unity of purpose and a total cross government response.

Mr Fallon added:

From the very start the UK’s been flying missions in Iraq.

We’re providing some 60 per cent of the Coalition’s tactical reconnaissance.

And last month the UK Parliament voted decisively to answer our allies’ call and lift the shadow of the 2013 Syria vote. We are stepping up.

In between the two engagements, Mr Fallon attended a lunch hosted by the British-American Business Association, geared towards promoting US investment in the UK defence industry.

Published 11 December 2015