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On Britannia - Monday 21st June

On Britannia
Monday 21st of June - by Richard Payne
Today was supposed to be the first day of normality after COVID restrictions came to an end, but regrettably it was not to be. The weekend was marked by Bercow’s defection to Labour, and on Friday the Liberal Democrats won a previously safe Conservative seat by 8000 plus votes - Labour failed to get its deposit back.

Leading the Agenda
Armin Laschet warns against a new Cold War with China
Hot on the heels of UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s comments about France and Germany not fully comprehending the threat posed by China, the frontrunner to replace Angela Merkel as Chancellor has said that China is as much a partner as it is a rival.
General Sir Nick Carter asks cyber experts to become reservists
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Sir Nick Carter, has asked Britain’s private sector cyber experts to sign up to become reservists to help fill gaps in the UK’s military capabilities in the digital sphere.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out plans for the UK to become a science superpower
Announcing that he will head a new National Science and Technology Council, Boris Johnson has said that “we have spent too long in a state of semi-detachment from science”. He and Sir Patrick Vallance will head government efforts to direct the public and private sectors in advancing Britain’s science and technology capabilities.
Under the Radar
Hong Kong paper facing closure - The Apple Daily, a paper often critical of the Chinese government, has announced that it could close in as little as a few weeks after several key executives were arrested and Beijing froze its assets.
News from the think tank world - Writing for RUSI, Jason Young has highlighted the importance of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreement in the face of a ‘bruising’ propaganda effort from Beijing to paint the organisation as an “anti-China group”.
News from the Council on Geostrategy - Later today, a new paper from James Rogers will be released on our website. It is the final piece on ‘discursive’ statecraft operations and outlines several strategies the British government might employ to counteract efforts to position them.
Over and Out
Nothing further to report today, folks! I hope you enjoy your week, and make sure to check back on Thursday for the next edition of On Britannia.
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A twice-weekly roundup from the Council on Geostrategy on British foreign policy-related commentary and news.

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