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New UK and Australia DSCA Signed

A member of the Australian Defence Force deployed on Operation INTERFLEX at a UK training facility [©Ukrainian Armed Forces: Iryna Rybakova]

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has signed a new Defence and Security Cooperation Agreement (DSCA) during a visit to Australia.

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Press Release, Whitehall, 21 March 2024: A new Defence and Security Cooperation Agreement was signed today at Parliament House, Canberra, by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles.

This agreement strengthens our partnership to meet the challenges of a more dangerous world. It includes an agreement which will make it easier for our Armed Forces to operate together in each other’s countries, as is currently happening through Operation INTERFLEX – the joint training of Ukrainian troops in the UK. It will also help facilitate UK submarine crews visiting Australia as part of the AUKUS partnership.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK and Australia fought side by side 80 years ago against tyranny on the beaches of Normandy. Today our two great nations continue to stand together to secure peace and prosperity the world over.

“We’re facing the challenges of a more dangerous world together, and through partnerships like this agreement, AUKUS, and our continued support to Ukraine, we’re defending our freedoms and shared values.

Australia Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “Australia’s relationship with the UK is dynamic and enduring. From the UK’s leadership of support for Ukraine and efforts to address the Houthi threat, to increasing contributions in the Pacific and the Indo-Pacific, we continue to work closely together to support a global rules-based order.

“As the world becomes more complex and uncertain, we must modernise our most important partnerships.

“The agreements we reached today will secure this outcome into the future.”

The agreement also formalises the already established practice of our nations consulting each other on issues that affect sovereignty and regional security. The new agreement was signed after the Defence Ministers met for annual talks in Australia, ahead of wider meetings together with Foreign Ministers in Adelaide, known as AUKMIN.

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