Dominic Raab claims role for UK as ‘force for good’ in world in which democracy is in retreat

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Britain is heading into a decade in which “democracy is in retreat”, with autocratic regimes like China claiming a greater slice of global wealth and military might, foreign secretary Dominic Raab is to warn in a chilling vision of the 2020s.

Speaking a day after Boris Johnson controversially announced he was lifting the cap on the size of the UK’s nuclear arsenal, Mr Raab will say that the UK needs to project military power in order to act as a “force for good” as the institutions underpinning democracy face their greatest threat since the Cold War.

But his claim that the UK will be guided by its “moral compass” were undermined by a leaked recording of him telling Foreign Office staff that Britain risks missing out on “growth markets” if it refuses to trade with states breaching human rights standards.

Mr Raab’s comments come after the prime minister used his long-awaited integrated review of the UK’s military, diplomatic and development stance to announce an “Indo-Pacific tilt” to policy, in response to China’s increasing dominance on the world stage.

While declaring China a “great challenge for an open society such as ours” and backing away from David Cameron’s promises of a “golden era” of relations with Beijing, Mr Johnson insisted the UK would pursue a “stronger and positive economic relationship” with the Asian nation and seek to engage on issues like climate change.

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