The Integrated Review creates a framework for government policy in the coming years, to enable the UK to shape a more open international order where democracies flourish.
Today the Prime Minister will set out the conclusions of his Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. The review, which has been conducted over the last year, is the most comprehensive articulation of a foreign policy and national security approach published by a British Government in decades.
The 100-page document addresses national security, foreign policy and our approach to the global economy together, setting out the PM’s vision for the UK in 2030 and how we will use the full range of our international policy to achieve it.
It comes during a crucial year for the UK’s international leadership, as we hold the Presidency of the G7 and prepare to host the COP26 Summit.
Setting out the conclusions of the Integrated Review, the Prime Minister will say:
The Review addresses the challenges and opportunities the UK faces in a more competitive world, where new powers are using all the tools at their disposal to redefine the international order and – in some cases – undermine the open and liberal international system that emerged in the wake of the Cold War.
As a nation the UK is uniquely international in its outlook and interests. Whether it’s the millions of British jobs created by global trade, the sheer number of Brits who live and work overseas or the importance of our international alliances for keeping us safe – particularly NATO, which is the bedrock of defence and security in the Euro-Atlantic.
The Integrated Review will make it clear that the UK cannot rely solely on an increasingly outdated international system to protect our interests and promote our values. Instead, it will establish 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.
In November, the Prime Minister announced the first outcome of the IR: the biggest programme of investment in defence since the end of the Cold War. This commitment typifies the wholescale shift in thinking and drive toward modernisation contained in the Integrated Review.
Just as other nations are investing in cutting-edge technology and using all the instruments available to them to achieve their goals, so too must the UK.
The Review sets out how the whole of government, as well as Britain’s extensive capabilities and international partnerships, will be brought together to shape the international order and protect and champion the UK’s interests and values.
This drive towards integration has already informed decisions such as the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Today the Prime Minister will announce the creation of two new cross-government hubs:
A Situation Centre, based in the Cabinet Office, which will build on the lessons of the Covid pandemic to improve our use of data to anticipate and respond to future crises.
A Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre, which will significantly improve our ability to thwart terrorists, while also dealing with the actions of hostile states. It will bring together CT 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.
As Britain champions an international order which works for the people of the UK the review states “we will harness the fundamentals of the British approach to foreign policy and national security: a defence of democracy and human rights; the importance of our relationship with the US; our constant work to keep the people of the UK safe from terrorism and serious organised crime; and our leadership on international development – as we continue to be one of the largest aid contributors in the OECD.”
But the Integrated Review will also set out some shifts, such as a tilt to the Indo-Pacific – increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world. This year the Queen Elizabeth Carrier will undertake its first operational deployment to the region, the UK is applying for partner status at the Association of South East Asian nations and at the end of April the Prime Minister will travel to India on his first major international visit following our departure from the EU.
The Integrated Review will also establish tackling climate change and preserving biodiversity as the UK’s number one international priority in the decade ahead. The UK was the first major economy to legislate to achieve Net Zero and all our future aid spending will be aligned with the Paris Agreement.
A statement from the Government continues: “This, and our other objectives, will be bolstered by the drive towards a more science-led approach to the problems we face. The Prime Minister has stated his ambition to make the UK a Science and Technology superpower. To help achieve this we will increase economy-wide Research & Development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and invest £14.6 billion in R&D across government in the next year. And we will take a more active approach to science and technology, using it to both shape and bolster our policy ambitions and to influence the design and use of new technologies in line with democratic values.”