PM Sunak Believes Australia Will Prefer UK Nuclear Submarines Over US
The British-built Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine is at the shipyard. Photo/REUTERS
LONDON – British Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak reportedly told a cabinet meeting to expect a positive outcome regarding his trip next week to San Diego.
During the trip, he will unveil the deal to sell British-made nuclear-powered submarines to Australia in the AUKUS security pact with the United States (US).
On Monday, Sunak will travel to the US to meet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden.
Following the meeting, Australia is expected to announce which submarines it will purchase as part of the AUKUS defense pact.
Citing an insider familiar with the developments, the Guardian reported on Wednesday that Sunak had expressed confidence in ministers that London had been successful in its bid to sell its submarines to Australia.
“Australia is choosing between a British-built Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine and a US-built Virginia-class submarine,” a senior minister told the newspaper.
He added that Sunak told the meeting that he was happy with the outcome of the negotiations, which had lasted 18 months.
“The deal really went our way. The prime minister talked about it when he told the ministers, smiled and got up,” the minister said.