This afternoon the Cabinet Office confirmed that it has paused the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. The delay has come as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The review was announced by Boris Johnson in February 2020.
In 2015, the government published its National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. This cited threats to public health, particularly the threat of a pandemic, as a tier 1 threat for 2015-2020.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
This delay should be a time for reflection and re-evaluation of priorities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Why is it that so many doctors and nurses can’t get basic protective equipment, yet the UK is still ploughing billions of pounds into aircraft carriers? That money should be put into the goods and services that we all rely on.
For far too long, UK security policy has been focused on military solutions, foreign wars and hypocritical and dangerous partnerships with human rights abusing regimes. These policies have caused a great deal of damage and have done nothing to keep us safe from many of the biggest threats, including pandemics and climate change.