Boris heads to New York to fly the flag of Global Britain

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson off to New York. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has boarded RAF Voyager for New York where he will be addressing the UN General Assembly and also holding a one-on-one meeting with US President Joe Biden.

The Prime Minister’s visit comes as the UK, US and Australia announce the AUKUS trilateral security and defence partnership, to protect and defend shared interests in the Indo-Pacific. The ‘AUKUS’ alliance will enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing.

The trip marks the first time the Prime Minister has left the UK since before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will also be Boris Johnson’s first visit to the White House since Joe Biden became US president.

With some 100 world leaders expected in New York at the UN General Assembly, Mr Johnson will be urging world leaders to take “concrete action” on climate change.

The Prime Minister will also be promoting the Conservative line of taking a tougher line on China – a stance which is welcomed in Washington and Canberra. But Mr Johnson will use the opportunity to convince smaller countries they should be wary of Chinese efforts to build infrastructure and extend financing around the world.

The Prime Minister is also using his stateside trip as an opportunity to build the “global Britain” brand and will be joined by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, her first official visit in her new role.

It is expected the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will also travel to Washington DC for meetings with State Representatives, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Ahead of his trip, the PM said:

“World leaders have a small window of time left to deliver on their climate commitments ahead of COP26.

“My message to those I meet this week will be clear: future generations will judge us based on what we achieve in the coming months.

“We need to continue to make a case for a sustainable recovery from coronavirus rooted in green growth. And we have a responsibility to ensure the benefits of that growth extend to all, no matter where they are born.”

Speaking ahead of the visit Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added:

I’m delighted my first international visit as Foreign Secretary is to the United States – the UK’s closest and most important partner. At the UN General Assembly, I look forward to convening global leaders to tackle the major issues of the day and projecting a positive, outward-looking Global Britain that delivers for people across the United Kingdom.

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