Prime Minister publishes Integrated Review
The Prime Minister has set out the conclusions of his Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy.
Conducted over the last year, the government says that the review forms the most comprehensive articulation of a foreign policy and national security approach published by a British Government in decades.
Spread over 100 pages, the document addresses national security, foreign policy and the UK’s approach to the global economy. On spending, the government will invest an extra £24 billion in defence, allowing the wholesale modernisation of UK armed forces and taking forward the renewal of our nuclear deterrent. The Defence Secretary will set out the details next week.
However, concerning Trident, the review says that Britain is lifting the cap on the number of Trident nuclear warheads it can stockpile by more than 40 per cent, ending 30 years of gradual disarmament since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Increasing the limit from 180 to 260 warheads potentially paves the way for a controversial £10 billion rearmament in response to perceived threats from Russia and China. Britain has far fewer warheads stockpiled than Russia, estimated to have 4,300, the US on 3,800 or China, which has about 320.
The document says the increase in the nuclear warheads cap is ‘in recognition of the evolving security environment’ and that there are ‘developing range of technological and doctrinal threats’.
To ensure that our deterrent is not 'vulnerable to pre-emptive action by potential adversaries', the report says that the government will maintain our four submarines so that at least one will always be on a Continuous At Sea Deterrent patrol.
The Integrated Review also states that, 'given the changing security and technological environment', ministers will extend the long-standing policy of deliberate ambiguity and no longer give public figures for our operational stockpile, deployed warhead or deployed missile numbers.
Seeking to move away from reliance on an increasingly outdated international system, the review establishes a new government foreign policy of increased international activism and a UK that works, alongside our allies and using all the tools at our disposal, to shape a more open international order in which democracies flourish. This includes the largest programme of investment in defence since the end of the Cold War, as well as a Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre, which will significantly improve our ability to thwart terrorists, while also dealing with the actions of hostile states.
The Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre will bring together counter terrorism police, the intelligence agencies and the criminal justice system to coordinate the government’s expertise and resources in a state-of-the-art facility to improve our speed of response to terrorist incidents.
Part of this effort will see the government sustain the £70 million uplift in funding for counter terrorism policing in England and Wales into 2021-22. Equivalent funds are available to the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive for CT policing.
As previously mooted, the National Cyber Force, which conducts offensive cyber operations against terrorists, hostile states and criminal gangs, will in future be located in a cyber corridor in the North West of England.
Following several delays, a new PROTECT duty will make it a legal requirement for owners and operators of public spaces and venues to take measures to keep the public safe from terrorist attacks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am profoundly optimistic about the UK’s place in the world and our ability to seize the opportunities ahead. The ingenuity of our citizens and the strength of our Union will combine with our international partnerships, modernised Armed Forces and a new green agenda, enabling us to look forward with confidence as we shape the world of the future.”
A statement from Counter Terrorism Policing said: "The Integrated Review, published today by the government recognises the important role that policing plays in protecting the security of the UK from diverse threats, ranging from terrorism and organised crime, to hostile state activity. This domestic security is both the bedrock and an objective of the wider global ambitions articulated in the review.
"We welcome the further commitment that the government has made to the new Counter Terrorism Operation Centre (CTOC), following the Chancellor’s funding announcement during the Spending Review in November. Delivering the CTOC will be a multi-year endeavour, but will transform the ability of Counter Terrorism Policing and our key partners to keep the country safe from terrorism and wider threats, through further integration within the national security community."