Boris Johnson: ‘Our international ambitions must start at home’

Boris Johnson

The Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, published today, will make the case for a UK international policy that rests on strong domestic foundations – in particular, ‘a secure, resilient and robust economy at home’.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Integrated Review will make a case for more investment in national infrastructure, innovation and skills to ensure the UK can compete on a global level.

In November the Prime Minister announced the first conclusion of the Integrated Review: a £24bn programme of investment in defence. According to Johnson, this will allow the government to invest in cutting-edge technology while creating 40,000 British jobs over the next four years.

Further commitments will be made to strengthening the UK’s core industrial base in the Integrated Review, from building ships in Scotland and armoured vehicles in Wales, to lithium mining in Cornwall and manufacturing satellites in Northern Ireland.

Johnson said: “The foundation of our foreign policy is who we are as a country: our values, our strengths and – most importantly – our people. So I am determined to ensure we have a foreign policy that delivers for those people.

“Our international ambitions must start at home, and through the Integrated Review we will drive investment back into our communities, ensuring the UK is on the cutting-edge of innovation and creating an entire country that is match-fit for a more competitive world.

“The review also recognises the greatest source of strength – at home and abroad – is the Union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. By combining the resources of our Union and pooling the expertise of our citizens in areas such as science and health we have been able to respond to global challenges and project our influence overseas.”

The Integrated Review will announce that the number of staff at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office hub in East Kilbride will increase by 500, taking the total number of jobs now based in Scotland to 1,500.

Further jobs will also be created outside of London by the establishment of the new National Cyber Security Force HQ in the North of England and trade hubs in Wales and Northern Ireland. The new trade hubs will work on the same model as the one established in Edinburgh last year.

With less than 1% of the global population, The UK as the world’s 5th biggest exporter in 2019 – selling more than £690bn worth of goods and services.

Industry reaction

Published today, the Integrated Review is a comprehensive articulation of the UK Government’s approach to foreign policy and national security.

The National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF), the government’s corporate venturing arm for dual-use advanced technologies, plays a key role in fostering technological innovation. A joint initiative between the UK Government and the British Business Bank, NSSIF supports the provision of long-term equity capital, needed by companies developing new capabilities in areas of strategic importance such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and sensor technology.

Commenting on today’s Integrated Review, Patrick Magee, British Business Bank Chief Commercial Officer, said: “As joint partners in the National Security Strategic Investment Fund, we welcome the publication of today’s Integrated Review. Going forward, we will continue to play a major role in accelerating the development of dual-use advanced technologies, helping to build the UK as a science and technology superpower.”