Speaking at the Lord Mayor's banquet in London, the Prime Minister has rejected predictions that Britain is in decline. Instead he stressed Britain's position is as a self-confident nation, sitting at the heart of the world's most powerful institutions and at the centre of global trade and diplomacy.
Rejecting Labour's muddled foreign, aid and economic policies, David Cameron outlined how Britain will be 'hard-headed' as it addresses the challenges of an increasingly globalised world.
He went on to highlight the need for Britain to keep a tight hold on its public finances in order to ensure a stable return to prosperity and make the most of new opportunities presented to Britain from emerging export markets.
Concluding his speech David Cameron set out the central tenets of the Government's foreign policy strategy. He said:
"Our foreign policy is one of hard-headed internationalism:
"More commercial in enabling Britain to earn its way in the world, more strategic in focus on meeting the new and emerging threats to our national security and firmly committed to upholding our values and defending Britain's moral authority, even in the most difficult circumstances.
"Above all, our foreign policy is more hard-headed in this respect: it will focus like laser on defending and advancing Britain's national interest.
"We have the resources - commercial, military and cultural - to remain a major player in the world.
"We have the relationships - with the most established powers and the fastest growing nations - that will benefit our economy.
"And we have the values - national values that swept slavery from the seas, that stood up to both fascism and communism that helped to spread democracy and human rights around the planet - that will drive us to do good around the world. With these strengths in our armoury we can drive prosperity, we can increase our security, we can maintain our integrity."
"We are choosing ambition. Far from shrinking back, Britain is reaching out."