In his first major foreign policy address in the United States since the formation of Britain’s new coalition government, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague delivered a powerfully unapologetic speech in Gaston Hall on Wednesday.
Hague spoke about a wide array of security issues, from NATO efforts in Afghanistan to the United Kingdom’s developing partnership with the United States against threats in cyberspace. The Foreign Secretary also expounded upon his long-held beliefs that core liberal values underpin national security.
“[W]e cannot protect our security or influence unless we also champion our own values,” he said. “Unless we stand up for democracy, the rule of law, political freedom and human rights and unless others perceive that we do this, we weaken our security and prosperity over the long term.”
Hague also responded to American military concerns that British budget reductions would affect the nation’s global commitments.
“The decisions we have taken are necessary beyond question and will ensure that Britain will be able to defend all its territories and meet all its commitments,” Hague said. “This should be good news for our allies, and a timely reminder to potential adversaries that Britain still packs a punch on the world stage.”