Gavin Williamson told the Sunday Telegraph the expansion would be part of a strategy for Britain to become a "true global player" after Brexit. Britain is set to leave the EU in March. "This is our biggest moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War, when we can recast ourselves in a different way, we can actually play the role on the world stage that the world expects us to play," Williamson said.
He did not elaborate. The defense secretary predicts a strong shift in Britain's political focus after Brexit, with deeper relationships with Australia , Canada, New Zealand, Africa and the Caribbean emphasized.
The head of the European Union's executive branch is urging Britain to "get your act together" and decide what exactly the country wants as Brexit looms.
Britain is due to leave the EU March 29 but its Parliament hasn't approved the government's divorce deal with the EU, which many lawmakers loathe. A vote is scheduled in mid-January.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Sunday's edition of Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper it is "entirely unreasonable for parts of the British public to believe that it is for the EU alone to propose a solution for all future British problems."
He added: "My appeal is this: get your act together and then tell us what it is you want. Our proposed solutions have been on the table for months."