To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of the IHS Markit report published on 6 February, that the UK will become a net defence importer by 2024 and the fifth largest global market for defence imports.
We are committed to creating the right conditions for a thriving UK defence industry and our refreshed Defence Industrial Policy outlines steps to help UK industry grow and compete, while affirming the UK's commitment to open competition and free, fair and responsible trade.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) works closely with industry to identify new opportunities to export and support both national capability and the UK Prosperity Agenda. Open competition remains our default procurement approach as we seek to source the best capability for our Armed Forces. Nonetheless, even where MOD does acquire defence equipment from overseas at significant value for money to the taxpayer, this often provides important benefit in terms of domestic partnership to UK industry.