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Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review

Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

If he will take steps to ensure that the security, defence and foreign policy review is completed before the comprehensive spending review.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

We will continue to transform the UK economy through the Budget in March and the comprehensive spending review later this year. The timing of that integrated review will be announced shortly.

Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

I am grateful for that reply. May I urge the Prime Minister to recall what happened to the last combined security and defence review, which was done within a straitjacket of fiscal neutrality? It meant that every extra pound spent on cyber or security was a pound to be cut from the conventional armed forces. Therefore, will he try to ensure that the next attempt at a combined security and defence review will not face such a straitjacket and will be concluded before rather than after the comprehensive spending review?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I understand very well the point that my right hon. Friend makes. I can assure him that the integrated review will be the deepest review of Britain’s security, defence and foreign policy since the cold war. I can also assure him that by transforming this country’s economy and by raising productivity, we will ensure that both defence and security are amply provided for.