Defence and Security Industrial Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 23rd March 2021.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee 12:49 pm, 23rd March 2021

I very much welcome the focus of this DSIS on recognising the role that defence can play in contributing to UK prosperity. The Minister has highlighted several issues that I felt needed to change in defence procurement in my review, which was published nearly three years ago. I am grateful for his comments about it. In this statement, he has demonstrated a deep grasp of his brief, on which I congratulate him.

Key to gaining public and cross-governmental support for increasing defence expenditure is measuring the impact of that spend on the economy, especially the regional impact in helping to level up Britain. That requires a good handle on data, which is why I recommended establishing defence economics as a valuable tool for the MOD, Defence Equipment and Support, and the defence industry, to help to assess the merits of competing investment proposals when allocating spend. Will my hon. Friend update the House on the role of the joint economic data hub in delivering that information, its security for the long term, and the role that it can play in the UK Defence Solutions Centre and the Defence Growth Partnership, of which I should remind the House I am deputy chairman?