In a live broadcast from Downing Street on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the alliance – known by the acronym Aukus – would make the world safer and create jobs across the UK.
During the cross-border speech with US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Johnson said: “I am pleased to join President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison in announcing the creation of a new trilateral defense partnership, known as the United Kingdom as Aukus, with the aim of working hand in glove to maintain security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
“We are opening a new chapter in our friendship, and the first task of this partnership will be to help Australia acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, and of course emphasize that those submarines will be powered by nuclear reactors, not armed with nuclear weapons, and our work will be fully in line with our non-proliferation obligations. ”
Johnson added: “Perhaps the most important thing will be that Britain, Australia and the United States will be linked even more closely, reflecting the way of trust between us, the depth of our friendship and the lasting strength of our shared values of freedom and democracy.
“Now the UK will embark on this project with our allies, making the world safer and creating jobs throughout the UK.”
China was not mentioned in the briefing, but the changing situation in the region was frequently referred to.
Speaking from Australia, Morrison said the world “became more complex, especially in our region, the Indo-Pacific”, and said that the future of the geopolitical area “will affect all our future”.
Biden, who thanked “Boris” and “the glorious Down Under” for their contributions, said that “the future of each of our nations and indeed the world depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific that lasts and flourishes for decades to come”.
Downing Street said the Aukus Alliance would “improve the development of common capabilities and technology sharing” to ensure that people in the three nations are “protected from harm and reinforce our common goals”.
“Aukus will promote a deeper integration of security and defense-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains,” said No. 10 in a statement.
It continued: “Aukus is a concrete articulation of Britain’s ambition, made in the integrated review, to deepen ties to defense, security and foreign policy with like-minded allies across the globe.
“The agreement reflects the unique level of trust and cooperation between our three countries, which already share extensive intelligence through the Five Eyes Alliance.
“The first initiative under Aukus will be a collaboration on future nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. This capacity will promote stability in the Indo-Pacific and will be deployed in support of our common values and interests.
“The initial scoping phase for the new effort is expected to take 18 months. The design and construction process will create hundreds of highly qualified scientific and engineering roles across the UK and drive investment in some of our most high-tech sectors. ”