UK and US reaffirm relationship at Atlantic Future Forum

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson delivering a opening welcome to the Atlantic Future Forum.

Senior figures from government and industry in the UK and US are meeting over the next two days on board HMS Queen Elizabeth for the annual Atlantic Future Forum. Delegates are discussing a range of areas where the UK and US can increase cooperation, while exploring new ways of combatting global instability.

Pictured here is Expert Panel 1, Professor Peter Frankopan, Professor David Kilcullen, Angus Lapsley and Rose Gottemoeller.

From defeating Covid-19 through vaccine and testing developments, to investing in our ability to tackle cyber threats, the senior figures from the two nations’ defence, security and trade establishments will discuss how to face down an uncertain future with confidence.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“At this time of global uncertainty and evolving adversaries, it is vital we continue to work together with the United States to strengthen our special alliance.

“The Atlantic Future Forum offers a space to discuss how our nations’ defence industries can provide a battle-winning edge, while developing our economies through trade and exports. As we come together on our outstanding HMS Queen Elizabeth, we are confident that Global Britain will continue to be the United States’ partner of choice.”

Opened by the Prime Minister via video link and chaired by former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Mark Sedwill, the Forum will include contributions from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Jeremy Fleming of GCHQ. First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sir Mike Wigston, will also be present. 

Lord Sedwill, Chairman of the Atlantic Future Forum:

“2020 has thrown up new obstacles for the world to tackle. This year’s Atlantic Future Forum looks at the UK’s role in securing our future in a disrupted world.

“By working with our global allies, we will meet the challenges of the future, from advancement in tech and cyber to the impacts of climate change. We will be bringing together some of our top political, business and military leaders, together with innovators, tech entrepreneurs and influential thinkers.”

The Forum comes as the UK Government continues to advance its ‘Ready to Trade’ agenda and grow the long-standing and cherished UK-US relationship, which offers fresh opportunity as the UK exits EU. Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for International Trade will convene a special session with her US counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative. 

Business leaders will also join with CEOs Jes Staley of Barclays, Bernard Looney of BP and the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, addressing the Forum.

The US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, will also join British Ambassador to the US Dame Karen Pierce as part of the closing ceremony on Wednesday.

The detailed agenda will include expert panels and keynote speeches covering a broad range of shared UK and US issues; including our response to digital threats and cyber, hypersonics, space, global competition and climate change.

The Forum will examine how the UK and US can make innovation a key part of their relationship in order to increase resilience and productivity. Due to Covid-19, a set number of delegates attended the event on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Media were invited to attend the programme events by video link.

Pictured: Lord Mark Sedwill KCMG, Chairman Atlantic Future Forum (AFF), delivers the opening address for AFF20.

Photo credits: LPhot Luke UK Ministry of Defence 2020


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here