The UK has suspended its upcoming integrated defence review as the country battles coronavirus, Cabinet Office officials have announced.
“The Cabinet Office has informed the Defence Select Committee that work on the Integrated Review has been formally paused across Whitehall.”
“While the Review is paused, the Committee will also look at the Armed Forces’ contribution to fighting coronavirus and the long-term defence and security consequences of the pandemic.”
Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said:
“We welcome this delay of the Integrated Review. There would be no point in conducting an in-depth review of the nation’s defence and security challenges to an artificial deadline, especially at a time when Whitehall is rightly focusing on tackling coronavirus. We look forward to engaging with the Department when the Review restarts, with the added element of the consequences of the pandemic to be considered. We will still report in due course on the Committee’s inquiry into how Government should conduct the Review and hope that this work will inform the process in the future.”
The bulk of the review was due to be completed later this year but is now not expected to start until 2021.