The UK’s Integrated Review (IR) is a cross-government effort to better align the various departments, agencies, and other bodies of state to form a cohesive national effort. This is a significant challenge and one that cannot be done without collaboration and support from the whole of society. ADS believes that the UK’s defence and security industries are a core part of delivering national security and should be treated as key partners in the planning and delivery of the IR.
National security, resilience and economic strength are inextricably linked; a modern global power must be able to demonstrate and maintain these simultaneously in order to meet global security challenges such as rapid technological change, non-malicious threats such as pandemics, and highly mobile financial markets (this is to say nothing of geopolitical tensions and non-state threats).
There are a number of policy changes that could have major strategic benefits for the UK:
- By placing more work with UK industry Government could improve levels of assurance around freedom of action and security of supply;
- Reforms to promote agile procurement mechanisms and a focus on desired outcomes, not technical specifications, would give industry the space to creatively produce new capabilities;
- Industrial growth and competitiveness initiatives, supported by HMG, would encourage a more resilient and agile industrial base that is empowered to support the goals of UK plc;
- Enhancing existing channels for engagement such as the Security and Resilience Growth Partnership (SRGP) to deliver a greater tempo of joint activity to tackle both policy and operational issues.
Given the international and multi-disciplinary nature of our industries UK businesses are also able to bring expertise from experiences around different government departments and internationally as well. This wider perspective is vital at a time when the UK is looking to create and project a strong and coordinated international posture post-Brexit.
ADS recognises the challenge of implementing these ideas and the cultural change that must happen to create this closer Government-Industry relationship. Our industries are committed to supporting the Government implement an IR that builds upon the UK’s strengths and effectively tackles the challenges of the coming decades.
Please do check back next week for our next update. To read the other blogs in this series please see below: