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UK Global Strategy

Volume 709: debated on Thursday 24 February 2022

11. If he will make an assessment with the Foreign Secretary of the potential merits of introducing a national strategy council to develop and support a long-term global strategy for the UK. (905631)

The Government’s approach to national security was set out in the integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. The National Security Council provides strategic direction to ensure that the review is implemented, and provides the necessary flexibility and agility to respond to the changing global context.

On responding to the changing global context, would it be accurate to say that this morning deterrence has failed? Do the Government also agree that perhaps if we had a national strategy council that looked forward a decade to the trends shaping our world, our policy might be less ad hoc, less reactive and less last-minute, and our ability to deter wars, which are currently breaking out in Europe, might be stronger?

I know that my hon. Friend takes a close interest in these issues, so he will know better than most that the whole purpose of the integrated review was to look at the period up to 2030, and it clearly identified China as a systemic competitor. I also know from my time as Chief Secretary to the Treasury that at the spending review 2020 we put in place the biggest investment in the Ministry of Defence—in defence—for about 30 years. That shows this Government’s willingness to look longer-term at what the right strategic approach is.