Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has underlined the UK’s Defence ties with Australia while marking the country’s national day.
The UK and Australia share an important Defence relationship, Sir Michael said as he addressed guests at an Australia Day reception at the Australian High Commission in London.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
The bonds that bind Britain and Australia are deeper than those of any alliance of necessity or pact of mutual interest; we are family.
A century ago we fought shoulder-to-shoulder at the Battle of Passchendaele. In the present time our bond is ever more relevant as we fight modern evils; flying wing-tip to wing-tip in Iraq and Syria to hit Daesh hard, training the Afghan Army in Kabul together and sharing crucial intelligence – all things that make us both safer and more secure at home.
But our bonds are those of mutual prosperity too. Backed by a rising Defence budget, Britain will also continue to open up new possibilities in trade and innovation with Australia as the UK steps up as Global Britain.
Later this year the Defence Secretary will attend the annual Australia-UK Ministerial Meeting, to discuss foreign, defence and security policy, alongside the Foreign Secretary and their Australian counterparts.
In future, the UK will take part in a variety of joint operations and Defence Engagement with Australia. In 2018 a Royal Navy frigate will visit the Asia Pacific and participate in an annual Five Power Defence Arrangements Exercise.
Australia will also host the 2018 Invictus Games for wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans, in Sydney.