The so-called Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review was running in parallel with a comprehensive spending review | Matt Cardy/Getty Images
UK delays strategic defense and foreign policy review
Major post-Brexit planning exercise postponed to October at the earliest as UK government grapples with coronavirus.
Updated 4/9/20, 11:10 PM CET
LONDON — Downing Street has delayed a review of the U.K.’s defense and foreign policy ambitions to the fall at the earliest, as the government focuses on getting a handle on the coronavirus crisis.
The review is central to No. 10’s aims to raise the country’s position internationally after Brexit. It will set foreign policy and international aid goals, as well as laying out defense procurement needs. Those include how to replace security services currently provided by Galileo, the EU’s navigation satellite scheme that Britain is due to exit.
The so-called Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review was running in parallel with a comprehensive spending review, both due to report in the summer. The CSR had already been pushed back to the fall.
But in a letter to the chairs of three parliamentary select committees seen by POLITICO, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government has had to divert resources to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic, scaling back efforts on the review. It is not clear yet when the government will be able to fully resume work on the review, he wrote on March 24.
Johnson himself is currently in intensive care in London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.