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Chair reacts to PM’s statement on defence spending, the Integrated Review and global Britain

19 November 2020

Reacting to the PM’s statement in the Commons today on defence spending, the Integrated Review and global Britain, Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said:

“This announcement is a clear and unequivocal message that defence is a priority for this Government and an imperative for the country. A welcome end to the era of cuts to defence. This substantial increase in defence spending sends the signal that the UK is committed to remaining a significant hard power with the capacity to wield considerable influence and shape the geopolitical landscape.

“The postponement of the Integrated Review, although understandable, it not without its drawbacks. Funding and strategy are two sides of the same coin, yet the announcements today indicate that the Integrated Review and Spending Review are being undertaken as separate pieces of work. Whilst the numbers are impressive, the cash injection will fail to deliver without a coherent and considered strategy, and threats and priorities are yet to be formally identified in the Review. Critically, we have heard little on the Government’s plans to work closely and collaboratively with our firmest ally, the US, in order to address the growing threat from Russia and China. The new US Administration offers the opportunity to strengthen our countries’ ties and the Review should renew our commitment to working together to counter the threat that these hostile states pose to our way of life.

“Although the Government is rightly ambitious in its vision for the UK’s standing on the world stage, questions remain about how it plans to achieve these ambitions. It is crucial that the Review outlines how the Government plans on delivering a balance of capabilities across our Armed Forces, ensuring our country’s ability to respond to any threat of any nature. As technology evolves, we must adapt, and the Committee is urging for clarity on the new planned investments in space and in cyber warfare.”

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