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Defence industrial policy: procurement and prosperity inquiry


The Defence Committee launches an inquiry into the defence industrial policy of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), exploring procurement policy in relation to UK prosperity and the Department’s impact on the defence supply chain.

In 2015, the Strategic Defence and Security Review introduced a new National Security Objective to “Promote our Prosperity”. The Defence Industrial Policy refresh published in 2017 reaffirmed that “competition and strategic choice remain at the heart of our approach to defence procurement”, whilst committing to taking measures to protect freedom of action and operational advantage on national security grounds. It also laid out a three-pronged refresh to industrial policy, including:

  • Improving the way defence delivers wider economic and international value, and national security objectives;
  • Helping UK industry in its plans to be internationally competitive, innovative and secure; and
  • Making it easier to do business with defence.

Supporting exports is now a core task of the MoD and has been incorporated into the National Shipbuilding Strategy (2017) and the Combat Air Strategy (2018).

Philip Dunne MP was commissioned by the then Defence Secretary to produce a report on “Growing the Contribution of Defence to UK Prosperity” which was published in 2018. He recommended that the MoD produce clearer, practical guidance on the prosperity factors defence is most likely to consider, the reasons for their importance and the primary metrics which might be used in assessing their value and relevance.

The Committee held an oral evidence session on 21 May 2019, looking into the procurement of Fleet Solid Support Ships and the planned (but now cancelled) move of a propulsion capability outside the UK. We are now expanding our inquiry to consider broader trends in defence industrial policy in relation to procurement and prosperity.

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  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 3113/6168 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 2996 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Defence Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA