Feb. 12 (UPI) — Britain will deploy its new aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, to the Pacific Ocean as the kingdom plans for a future military role globally once it leaves the European Union.
The deployment for the ship, which is scheduled to become operational in 2020, also comes as China has been involved in a dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea.
“The UK is a global power with truly global interests,” Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said Monday to the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London. “And since the new global great game will be played on a global playing field, we must be prepared to compete for our interests and our values far, far from home.”
Britain’s defense budget, which was around $52.5 billion in 2017, is set at 2 percent of the gross domestic product,