LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should postpone an ongoing review of its security, defence and foreign policy for at least a year because of the widening impact of coronavirus, a leading defence think-tank said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arrives for a weekly cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Britain March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
The government had intended to complete what is known as an “integrated review” of policy by July this year. But with time already tight and the coronavirus pandemic throwing both the British and global economy into turmoil, a delay of up to a year is needed, Britain’s Royal United Services Institute said.
“The lasting consequences of the pandemic remain highly unpredictable, but are likely to include new debates on public spending priorities in the UK and elsewhere,” it said in a paper co-authored by the Ministry of Defence’s former director of strategy and the deputy director of RUSI.
As well as the impact of coronavirus and the not-yet complete fallout from Brexit, the authors point out that Britain’s relations with the United States are in an unreliable phase and it would be better to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November to take strateg