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PM: UK and Germany open ‘new chapter’ in defence partnership

  • Prime Minister and Chancellor Scholz to hold talks in Berlin on security, trade and shared issues like illegal migration
  • UK and Germany to launch new joint industrial programme to develop artillery systems
  • German companies announce investments into the UK of more than £8 billion

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin today [Wednesday] to deepen our defence and security cooperation. 

As an initial step, the UK and Germany will announce plans for a joint endeavour to develop Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm Wheeled Artillery Systems (RCH 155), which will be fitted to Boxer vehicles. 

The joint programme is expected to create hundreds of British and German jobs, while equipping our armed forces with battle-winning capabilities for future ground warfare.

It follows the Prime Minister’s visit to Poland on Tuesday, where he held talks with Prime Minister Tusk and the Nato Secretary-General and announced a historic uplift in UK defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

The UK and Germany are European powerhouses. Together, we are stronger – whether that is defending against Russian aggression or driving economic growth and technological advance.

Today we are opening a new chapter in our relationship, one that will make us safer and more prosperous. At this dangerous moment for the world, the UK and Germany are standing side by side to preserve security and prosperity at home and across our continent.

The leaders are also expected to discuss collaboration on energy and renewables, including on the export of green hydrogen from the UK and Germany, and joint efforts to tackle organised immigration crime. 

The UK and Germany are the two largest economies in Europe and Germany is our largest trading partner on the continent, with bilateral trade worth £147.7 billion last year. 

The Prime Minister will meet leading businesses in Berlin to drive further economic cooperation, as German firms announce £8 billion worth of new investment today into the UK.

German energy company RWE have confirmed their intention to invest more than €8 billion (£6.9 billion) in the UK by the end of this decade, and E.ON energy will be investing £1bn in the UK over the next 5 years to help drive the green energy transition.

RWE CEO Dr Markus Krebber said:

“The UK has been one of RWE’s most important core markets for decades. We are committed to continuing to contribute to the UK’s ambitious renewable energy and decarbonisation targets. We intend to invest a further €8 billion in the UK by the end of this decade into commercially viable projects.”

Uniper, another leading German energy company, has also committed to invest a further €8 billion in green transformation projects in its main markets in Germany and the UK through 2030, including in gas-fired power plants, solar and wind parks, energy storage systems, and hydrogen production units.

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