In December Boris Johnson promised the “deepest review of Britain’s defence, security and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War” if he won the General Election. But the Integrated Security Review has been delayed by the coronavirus crisis.
Rethinking Security, a network of peace and security experts, has welcomed the UK government’s decision to pause the Integrated Security Review in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The review, which was due to be completed by July, had to be scaled back last month when the coronavirus hit Britain and on Tuesday, 15 April, it was announced that the Ministry of Defence had formally paused the review.
But Rethinking Security’s Co-ordinator Richard Reeve said: “While the delay is the right thing to do in light of the current crisis, it is also a huge opportunity to do things differently.”
He urged the Ministry of Defence to introduce a period of public consultation before the review begins to give citizens a say on the security of their nation.
When Mr Johnson announced the review last year pandemics were not even mentioned and were not considered a realistic threat to Britain’s security.
In his speech in December Mr Johnson said: “The review will extend from the armed forces to the intelligence services, counter-terrorism forces and serious organised crime. It will also consider Britain’s foreign policy, how we can best use our huge expenditure on international development, and…