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Call for evidence: New Inquiry into the UK's Economic Security

22 November 2023

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) welcomes written evidence for its new inquiry into The UK’s economic security.

The Government’s Integrated Review Refresh (IRR23), published in March 2023, committed to developing “more robust measures to bolster the UK’s economic security”, addressing “vulnerabilities that have been exposed in the UK and many countries by the events of the last two years”. Relevant measures were laid out under the “resilience” pillar of IRR23, including the Government’s work on critical minerals, supply chains, export controls, economic deterrence and economic crime, along with the prioritisation of “strategic advantage” in science and technology.

IRR23 also noted that a “more positive consequence of the acceleration of systemic competition” is a “renewed purpose and cooperation among the UK’s core network of allies and partners”. The Government has subsequently established international agreements with the US and Japan: the Atlantic Declaration and the Hiroshima Accord. Both fall far short of a trade deal, but seek to enable deeper cooperation on economic security. Pillar 2 of AUKUS – a defence and security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States – also allows for strengthened cooperation on security- and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains.

The inquiry aims to determine what the main risks and vulnerabilities are to the UK’s economic security and will scrutinise whether the Government has the necessary powers and capabilities in place to intervene in the economy on national security grounds, and to enforce economic deterrence measures and enhance economic resilience.

Call for evidence

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) welcomes written evidence for its inquiry into ‘The UK’s economic security’. Evidence is invited on the following topics by 5 January at 5.00pm.

  • How best to define ‘economic security’, and the extent to which an overarching policy framework is possible (or desirable);
  • The main risks to the UK’s economic security over the short, medium and long term, from which sources or vulnerabilities they arise (and in which sectors), and the capabilities that might be required in order to address or counter them effectively;
  • The effectiveness of the Government’s overall approach to economic security, including key policy frameworks, governance and resourcing;
  • The role and effectiveness of the National Security Council (and its sub-committee on Economic Security), National Security Adviser and national security machinery in providing leadership on this policy area, drawing in external expertise, and ensuring coherence across Government of the UK’s response to economic security risks;
  • The effectiveness of existing measures for intervening in the economy on national security grounds, such as the National Security and Investment Act, and the extent to which they strike the right balance between security and prosperity objectives;
  • The effectiveness of the Government’s approach to economic deterrence, how it contributes to the UK’s economic security, and any reforms that might be required; and
  • The opportunities and risks offered by international cooperation in ensuring the UK’s economic security, both bilateral (the recent Atlantic Declaration and the Hiroshima Accord) and multilateral (e.g. the G7 and the EU), and any potential obstacles to implementing them effectively.

Submissions may address any one of these issues, and do not need to cover the entire remit of the Committee’s inquiry.

Further information

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