Integrated Review #1: Setting the Scene

The Government’s Integrated Review (IR) of Foreign Policy, Defence, Security and Development was announced in February 2020 and is due to be released later this autumn, alongside the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). Purported to be the UK’s widest ranging review of its place in the world since the end of the Cold War, the scope of the IR is wider than previous Strategic Defence and Security Reviews, addressing issues such as national resilience and defence and security procurement. This time around the IR has also been accompanied by work on a Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) review. The UK’s defence and security industries have a critical role to play in delivering the objectives of the IR and ADS has engaged closely with the Government throughout this year on the development of the IR and associated DSIS.

The UK’s defence and security sectors have welcomed the Government’s commitment to a wide-ranging review that encompasses the full spectrum of capabilities available to the UK, from hard military power to soft diplomatic influence, in the face of an ever-evolving strategic threat picture driven by technological change. A range of emerging disruptive technologies, from Artificial Intelligence to directed energy weapons, pose both opportunities and threats to the UK. The Government must take advantage of the unique perspective that industry holds on both anticipating and embracing technological advancements.

Supplying critical capabilities to the UK’s Armed Forces and wider National Security community, our sectors have an important role to play in addressing both traditional and new threats, including non-malicious threats such as the current pandemic. However, to draw upon the full resources of the UK’s defence and security industries the IR must embed strategic industrial engagement across the whole of Government. Taken alongside the DSIS, the IR offers an opportunity for the UK to move beyond a transactional industry-government relationship to become true partners in the delivery of a national strategy that enhances national resilience.

A strong industrial base is the cornerstone of national resilience and economic prosperity. The IR must recognise the interdependence between the security and the prosperity of our economy and seek to address industrial policy issues that will unlock the full contribution of our sectors. In the coming weeks ADS will share our thoughts on how the IR could establish UK industry as a strategic partner in delivering economic and national resilience; build on the UK’s reputation as an exporting powerhouse; and leverage the UK’s role as a science, technology and data superpower.

Please do check back next week for our next update. In the meantime if you would like to read ADS’s full submission to the Government on the IR please visit HERE and if you have any questions about ADS’s work on the IR please contact Nathan Mathiot at nathan.mathiot@adsgroup.org.uk and Andy Johnston at andy.johnston@adsgroup.org.uk To read the other blogs in this series please see below: