Britain's Truss to tell UN she will lead for 'a new era'

UK Prime Minister will outline her plans for the economy and defence, while asserting the UK is a world power

British Prime Minister Liz Truss will address the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. Bloomberg
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British Prime Minister Liz Truss will use a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday to warn democratic leaders against any complacency when it comes to defending values and preserving a world order that rewards freedom.

At the first ever session of the UNGA held in the shadow of a large-scale war in Europe, Ms Truss will highlight the threat from authoritarian states working to undermine security and stability around the world.

She will use her speech to outline her vision for this new, more competitive era, which will require like-minded democracies to fight for their ideals.

Ms Truss will say this begins with ensuring the UK and its partners have the strong economic foundations they need to constrain authoritarianism.

She will outline her plans to build a British economy that attracts growth by rewarding innovation, championing investment and enterprise, and welcoming the best talent from around the world.

Ms Truss will also pledge to ensure the British economy is free from malign interference by increasing its energy independence and protecting the security of its supply chains.

“The commitment to hope and progress must begin at home, in the lives of every citizen that we serve," she is expected to say.

"We want people to keep more of the money they earn, because we believe that freedom trumps instruction.

“We are reforming our economy to get Britain moving forward once again.

"The free world needs this economic strength and resilience to push back against authoritarian aggression and win this new era of strategic competition.

“We will no longer be strategically dependent on those who seek to weaponise the global economy."

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She will look to boost the resilience of the UK economy and work with other democracies to protect each other’s economic security.

Ms Truss will make the case for harnessing aspiration and creativity to deny authoritarian states the chance to manipulate the global economy.

She will tell the UNGA that the G7 and other like-minded partners must act as an economic Nato, collectively defending prosperity and coming to the aid of any partner attacked by an aggressive regime.

Ms Truss will say that economic security goes hand in hand with physical security, and that to support this she will protect the UK and its allies by increasing defence spending to 3 per cent of the country's GDP by 2030.

“Just as we are building a plan for growth at home, we are also developing a new blueprint for our engagement with the world," she will say.

“We will build resilience and collective security, because they are vital for freedom and democracy. We will be a reliable, trustworthy and dynamic partner.”

To ensure the UK’s diplomatic, military and security architecture is keeping pace with evolving threat posed by hostile nations, Ms Truss has commissioned an update to the Integrated Review.

The UK’s Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy was published in March 2021, before Mr Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine created the greatest security challenge ever experienced by Nato.

Prof John Bew, Ms Truss's special adviser for foreign affairs and defence, will lead a Downing Street process to update the review.

The refreshed strategy is planned to ensure the UK is investing in the strategic capabilities and alliances it needs to stand firm against Russia and China.

The update is expected to be published by the end of this year.

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She says that by properly investing in defence, the UK will be ready to stand up for peace, prosperity and freedom across the world.

“This is a decisive moment in British history, in the history of this organisation, and in the history of freedom," Ms Truss is expected to say.

“The story of 2022 could have been that of an authoritarian state rolling its tanks over the border of a peaceful neighbour and subjugating its people.

“Instead, it is the story of freedom fighting back … but this must not be a one off. Britain’s commitment to this is total.

“Together with our friends and allies around the world, we will continue to champion freedom, sovereign and democracy, and we will define this new era as one of hope and progress."

Updated: September 21, 2022, 12:12 AM