The Royal Navy will play a key role in supporting the UK’s presence on the world stage after Brexit, Theresa May said as she addressed personnel from the deck of the fleet’s flagship.
The Prime Minister, who was on board HMS Ocean during a visit to Bahrain, praised the work done by the Navy and Royal Marines in the fight against Islamic State terrorists.
Mrs May was in Bahrain to attend the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), where she is setting out a series of measures to strengthen defence and security links.
In a reference to the UK’s changing international role, Mrs May told the assembled personnel: “Today, as we face multiple global challenges and an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world, you are vital to protecting our nation’s interests and provide a clear demonstration of the UK’s enduring security commitment to the Gulf.
“And as Britain steps up to forge a new, positive, confident role for our country on the global stage, the Royal Navy will be an important part of our vision, pursuing our objectives of security on land and at sea and helping to ensure the free flow of international trade.”
Flanked by two Jackal armoured vehicles from 42 Commando, the Prime Minister said: “Britain takes enormous pride in our Royal Navy, known the world over for its professionalism and expertise and for the dedication and courage of its sailors, Royal Marines and its officers.”
She added that “more than ever, Gulf security is our security”, highlighting the strategic importance of the oil and gas supplies from the Middle East.
Her visit to Bahrain would “reaffirm our partnership with the GCC countries and to step up our defence and security cooperation to keep British citizens safe at home and abroad and to ensure the stability necessary for global and UK prosperity”, she said.