Royal Navy will have to 'play its role' post-Brexit, Portsmouth chief says

A FORCES chief has said the navy will need to 'play its role' post-Brexit to ensure Britain is not 'withdrawing from the world.'

Monday, 20th January 2020, 11:37 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 8:54 pm

Speaking at the Shaping Portsmouth conference last week Commodore Jeremy Bailey, who is stationed at Portsmouth Naval Base, addressed how the navy would have to adapt.

He said: 'Brexit is a strategic inflection for the nation and one where we need to play our role in highlighting that what we're not doing is withdrawing from the world – in fact quite the opposite.

'We're a global navy supporting a global Britain. And this is what makes our trade routes more important than ever as a nation.'

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The HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing into her home port of Portsmouth. Picture: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum

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As previously reported, the treasury has set aside £12.7m to the Ministry of Defence for key EU exit preparations. This includes cash to preserve the batch one offshore patrol vessels in case they are needed after Brexit.

Cdre Bailey also spoke about the navy's defence role going forward.

He said: 'Looking forward the risk of state-on-state conflict is increasing with subthreshhold activity, or grey zone activity, becoming more of the norm.’

Businesses and groups from around the city attended the conference to share their work and plans for Portsmouth.

'I think sometimes we're a little too modest about what we achieve and I think that's a little bit the same about Portsmouth in terms of the UK and the world,' Cdre Bailey added.

'Understanding what threats the future might pose and how to be successful in building a future for the city I think needs to be strategically built around capabilities that enable our city to be best prepared to deal with those uncertainties.’