Integrated Review - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:26 pm on 17th March 2021.

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Photo of Lord Liddle Lord Liddle Labour 7:26 pm, 17th March 2021

I welcome this paper, in the sense that we desperately need a hard-headed, realistic debate about our national strategy post Brexit. I ask about the “tilt to the Indo-Pacific”; how serious a military and security commitment is envisaged? Is this seen as a reversal of the decision that the Labour Government famously took in 1968 to withdraw east of Suez? Are the main security challenges that we face not still in Europe’s neighbourhood—Russia, terrorism, chaos in north Africa, the possibility of further troubles in the Balkans and all the rest? Is that not the area on which we should concentrate? Do we not have to accept that we are a strong but medium-sized European power and that, if we try to do too much, we risk a problem of overstretch, which will put our Armed Forces in an impossible position?