Integrated Review #5: Looking toward the future

Over the past month ADS has set out how the Government’s Integrated Review, and the associated Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS), could leverage the UK’s defence and security sectors to address current and future threats, and in turn enhance national resilience and economic prosperity. From updating how Government and industry share sensitive information on threats and investment plans, to strengthening the support that Government provides to defence and security exporters, there are many steps the Integrated Review could take to move the two sides beyond a transactional relationship and toward a strategic partnership in support of the UK’s economic recovery, national security and resilience.

Whatever form the publication of the Integrated Review takes, considering the recent decision to progress with a one-year Spending Review in place of a multi-year funding settlement, the Government has an opportunity this autumn to outline the principles that will underpin its national security objectives, priorities and stance. Crucially for industry, the Government should ensure clarity and certainty for long-term planning and investment decisions by industry through providing assurances for strategically important defence programmes that support the supply chain and sustain the industrial base. As ADS has made clear, a strong defence and security industrial base should be considered the cornerstone of economic and national resilience.

As the Government grapples with the unprecedented situation resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, our members understand that the Government faces no easy choices. The Integrated Review is tasked not only with defining the UK’s role in the world over the next decade but also to set out the long-term strategic aims for our national security and foreign policy. It has also been asked to support the economic recovery from COVID-19, thereby fusing economic and national security considerations.

The UK’s defence and security industries are at the heart of the growth opportunities across the UK, supporting the delivery of Government’s ambition to level up in all regions and nations. Our sectors also have a unique perspective on anticipating and embracing technological advancements. For that reason, ADS hopes the Integrated Review will lay the groundwork for industry and Government to work in partnership to deliver a national strategy that meets the security threats and economic challenges facing the UK over the next decade.

While we await details on the next steps for the Integrated Review, ADS urges the Government to not let the considerable work undertaken by officials, industry and academia to go to waste on charting a new course for the UK’s role in the world. ADS looks forward to working closely with the Government on the subsequent implementation of the review and will keep members updated on what happens next.

To read the previous blogs in this series please see below: