Tag Archives: HM Government


Speech: Foreign Secretary holds press conference in Tokyo, Japan

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson & Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

UK and Japan press conference

Thank you very much, Fumio.

I’m actually absolutely delighted to be back here in Japan and thank you for the warm welcome that you have given us. I went for a run this morning, as I do when I’m in Tokyo, anticlockwise around the Imperial Palace and I want you know I was overtaken by absolutely everybody, of all ages. Well everybody was running much faster than me but my ego can survive this because yesterday I saw a robot, a Japanese robot, that could run faster than me and so I’m full of admiration, I know what an amazing place this is. What an amazing, inventive, dynamic economy Japan is.

But what we’re trying to do here today, Fumio and I, is to build on that relationship and that partnership and I’ve no doubt at all that it is going to get stronger and stronger. I’ve seen some fantastic examples of UK exports to Japan. A Honda Civic, by the way made in Swindon that I drove yesterday. And Japanese investments in the U.K. contrary to some of the gloomy stuff that you might see in some of the media, Japanese investments in the U.K. are at record high since the Brexit vote last year and I have no doubt at all that we are going to build a fantastic relationship with our friends and partners in the EU. We’re leaving the EU but we’re not leaving Europe. And one that allows us to continue to build our commercial and economic relations with Japan.

As you’ve mentioned Fumio, we share the same values and we share the same security threats, we face the same foes including from terrorism and indeed North Korea. And I want to stress that Britain stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Japan in our steadfast determination to stop North Korea’s persistent violations of United Nations resolutions. Two weeks ago we saw the test of an ICBM, unquestionably an ICBM, that landed in the Sea of Japan in what can only be called a reckless provocation. We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang through diplomacy and sanctions and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

The UK has been in the forefront of that effort whether it’s the United Nations Security Council, or with our friends and partners in Europe and again here today in Japan. The threats that confront us are global and so our cooperation between the UK and Japan is now truly global. Britain and Japan work hand in glove in the UN Security Council on issues ranging from Syria to South Sudan. In Africa we’re working together on de-mining projects in Angola and we jointly trained peacekeepers in Senegal. Last year, The Royal Air Force sent typhoon fighters to Japan where they became the first non US Air Force to exercise alongside their Japanese counterparts. And I’m delighted that Britain is going to be using our expertise in hosting London 2012 to help ensure Japan Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are just as successful, as I’m sure indeed that they will be.

Counterterrorism and cybersecurity, our particular focuses of our cooperation both between government and business and as an example of the growing UK Japan cyber cooperation, I welcome the signing yesterday of a strategic partnership between the UK company Darktrace, and NEC Networks and System Integration, Corporation.

Fumio, thank you for welcoming us today and thank you for the friendship and the partnership between us. This is a unique relationship between the U.K. and Japan. We have no other relationship like this. This is a partnership between two democracies, and by the way two constitutional monarchies, two island nations that share a great deal. Not just our belief in free-trade, our belief in democracy, but of course our joint belief in the rules based international order which we uphold.

Thank you very much everybody and thank you Fumio for welcoming us today.

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News story: From the first global TV broadcast to the future of satellite telecommunications

The Telstar 1 communications satellite revolutionised popular entertainment and represented a turning point that would see us become reliant on space in ways that were unimaginable in 1962. From weather forecasting to banking to communications and navigating in our cars, space is now part of our everyday lives.

The first 20-minute broadcast started a couple minutes ahead of schedule as soon as Telstar came into range and opened with footage of a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs before switching to President John F. Kennedy’s press conference in Washington, D.C.

Although only operational for a few months and relaying brief television signals, Telstar captured the imagination of the world. The transmission in 1962, which was sent to the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall, has evolved into the global communications network of today.

Space is now vital to our economy, security and well-being. In the UK the thriving space industry contributes over £13.7 billion to the economy and employs more than 38,000 workers. The UK is a global leader in satellite telecommunications, and in the growing commercial applications of space.

At the Council of Ministers in Lucerne, Switzerland, in December 2016, the UK pledged €319 million over the next four years to telecommunications projects with industry through ARTES, including partnerships with businesses on innovative telecoms services.

One of those partnerships, with UK company Inmarsat, saw €31 million invested in IRIS, which uses satellite communications to enable safer air traffic control across Europe while reducing CO2 emissions and airline costs.

Another €60 million was for developing the commercial use of space data through Integrated Applications. UK Space Agency funding will connect businesses across the economy with solutions for common problems that could benefit from the unique vantage point of space. UK companies have used IAP funding to develop telemedicine services to aircraft, to advise farmers on crop fertilization, and to guide energy providers to target waste collection in communities.

This investment ensures the UK remains at the forefront of new technologies and builds on the strength of the UK growing space industry.

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News story: UK Government invests in Scotland

The UK Government has announced that it has invested £300 million in an Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal. This is the fourth UK City Deal in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, and will boost the economy of Edinburgh and the whole of South East Scotland for decades to come.

Today’s move brings UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland so far to around £1 billion.

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

The UK Government is investing £300 million in the Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal, which will boost the economy of Edinburgh and the whole of South-East Scotland for decades to come. The Edinburgh deal will focus on the capital’s strengths of new technology, innovation and culture. It will make a real difference to the lives of people in the region, creating jobs and prosperity and driving investment.

The Edinburgh deal brings UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland so far to around £1billion, and demonstrates clearly the value to Scotland’s economy of being part of a strong United Kingdom.

On Thursday [20 July] the UK Government announced the start of steel cutting on the Clyde for the new Royal Navy Type 26 Frigates – an historic milestone for the Royal Navy, UK Defence and Scottish shipbuilding, enabled through a £3.7bn contract signed with BAE Systems earlier this month.

The work to build the ships, which starts today, will secure approximately 1,700 skilled shipbuilding jobs in Scotland and 2,300 jobs throughout the supply chain across Britain until 2035.

Both of these demonstrate clearly the value to Scotland’s economy of being part of a strong United Kingdom.

The Edinburgh City Deal will focuses on maximising the economic value of new technology. It will use Edinburgh’s track record in innovation and new technology to build the sector, creating prosperity and jobs. The deal will include the creation of five new innovation hubs, including in robotics and space technologies.

Edinburgh’s world class universities are at the heart of this City Deal, with investment in cutting edge research in the technologies of the future at Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Edinburgh Universities, exploring innovation in space, health sciences, agri-tech and food and drink.

It will also create a new Edinburgh concert hall, reaffirming the city as a global cultural leader, and reinforcing and building the contribution of culture to the city’s economy.

The UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland has now topped more than £1 billion. Combined with other sources, this will unlock more than £4 billion of investment for Scottish cities and regions. That investment comes on top of a sound financial settlement for Scotland, plus an additional £1 billion in Barnett consequentials in the past year.

UK City Deals have a proven track record of delivering for Scotland, with successes in Glasgow, Inverness, and Aberdeen, showing the substantial economic benefits that this joint investment with the Scottish Government, local authorities and partners can bring. Tay Cities and Stirling city deals are currently under discussion, and the UK Government has announced its commitment to exploring a Borderlands deal. These demonstrate clearly the value to Scotland of being part of the Union.

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Press release: 2017 Alexander Dalrymple Award

The Alexander Dalrymple Award is given by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) in recognition of an outstanding contribution to world hydrography. First presented in 2006, it is named in honour of the first Hydrographer of the Royal Navy in 1795.

The Award was presented at reception in London by Admiral Tim Lowe, UK National Hydrographer and Deputy Chief Executive of the UKHO. Admiral Lowe commented:

“Adam has made a significant contribution to capacity building and improving maritime safety in the Southwest Pacific region. As National Hydrographer, he has a wide ranging and busy portfolio from managing a very efficient national and regional production/delivery unit through to representing New Zealand at a variety of strategic fora within the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

“He is also a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) and a hugely active Capacity Building Coordinator for the South West Pacific Hydrographic Commission (SWPHC). In the latter, he has delivered significant training and mentoring initiatives in areas such as maritime safety information, hydrographic surveying training and nautical cartography training. These aspects have significantly benefitted developing Member States across the breadth of an enormous sea area.”

Adam Greenland is the twelfth recipient of the Alexander Dalrymple Award. Educated at the University of East London and the University of Greenwich, and a former Merchant Mariner, Adam Greenland is a Chartered Surveyor who has been with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) since 2005.

In making the presentation, Admiral Lowe commended Mr Greenland’s leading contribution towards New Zealand’s fulfillment of its SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) responsibilities, his work as a member of the IHO/FIG/ICA International Board of Standards of Competence, setting and reviewing the minimum international standards of competence for hydrographic surveyors and nautical cartographers, and his role as a driving force in the Pacific Region Navigation Initiative (PRNI). This initiative is focused on navigation related aspects of maritime safety to support Pacific Island Countries fulfill their own SOLAS obligations.

The award presentation took place at a reception held at Lancaster House in London to mark the UK Government’s celebration of World Hydrography Day 2017, a United Nations-endorsed recognition of the vital role of hydrography in supporting safe navigation and sustainable use of the world’s seas, oceans and waterways.

The theme chosen by the IHO for this year’s World Hydrography Day is ‘Mapping our seas, oceans and waterways – more important than ever’ and Admiral Lowe spoke of the relevance of this theme to the work of the UKHO:

“This year’s World Hydrography Day theme has tremendous synergy with the work we undertake at the UKHO on a daily business and with Government initiatives designed to aid the development of sustainable marine economic growth, nationally as well as worldwide. Our knowledge of the shape, nature and depth of the seafloor is a fundamental requirement for the proper, safe, sustainable and cost effective use of the world’s seas, oceans and waterways.”

Admiral Lowe also paid tribute to the work of the IHO’s long-serving former President and current General Secretary, Robert Ward, who is due to step down from the role later this year. Admiral Lowe said:

“Robert has a long history of involvement in the implementation and development of the standards and regulations associated with electronic chart navigation and digital hydrographic data, both in the IHO and in the IMO. On behalf of the United Kingdom and the UKHO, we would like to thank Robert for his valuable contribution to the work of the International Hydrographic Community during his Presidency and latterly, as General Secretary of the IHO.”

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News story: £10m fund to restore peatland opens for applications

A £10 million grant scheme to restore England’s iconic peatlands has officially opened for bids, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey announced today.

In England, peatlands cover 11 per cent of the country and provide a key habitat for birds such as the merlin, dunlin and golden plover. They provide 70 per cent of the country’s drinking water and store more than 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. But it is estimated as much as four fifths of our peatland is in need of restoration.

Funding will be made available for schemes that restore upland and lowland peatlands, create habitats for vulnerable wildlife, reduce flood risk by slowing rain water flow and increase carbon capture.

The government fund is in addition to the £4 million Defra has already allocated to existing Natural England peatland restoration schemes across the country, from Cumbria to Cornwall, which have raised water levels for mosses to thrive and seen rare species replanted.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

Peatlands are a vital part of the natural ecosystem that provide key habitats for wildlife, supply us with clean water and reduce carbon emissions, so I encourage groups from across the country to apply for funding to restore this important habitat.

This scheme will help fulfil our ambition to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state while returning thousands of hectares of peatland to their natural state.

Bids with the greatest potential for greenhouse gas mitigation and projects that deliver better value for money and maximise environmental benefits will be favoured. The scheme is for capital works and is open to everyone outside central government and their agencies.

Funding will be available for three years from April 2018 as part of Defra’s £100 million of capital funding for direct investment in projects that support the natural environment.

The closing date for applications will be 20 November 2017 and applications will be made via Defra’s e-tendering platform.

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