To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to conduct a full defence review, in the light of the capability of the Armed Forces to meet global defence needs.
Question for Short Debate, asked by Lord Sterling on 18th January 2018.
Response from Lord Waverley:
My Lords, we must now determine our future contribution and place in the world, while balancing the protection of our national interests and achievement of our foreign policy goals. Developing conventional capability partnerships for comparative advantage, disregarding vanity projects and matching critical requirements to budgetary constraints are fundamental. I would hope to hear today of much-needed tightened departmental guidelines on contract awards, spending procedures and budgetary control, as well as enhanced in-house scrutiny and delivery capabilities.
Political masters have an unenviable challenge to fund and deliver the effective tools and processes for each of the four strategic needs: ground, sea, air, and cyber. The fourth, the new threat of cyber, represents the biggest challenge. Is the Minister satisfied the United Kingdom has the resources and capabilities to counter current and future cyber threats? In order to ensure maximum necessary capability in our cybersecurity arsenal, we must know the extent of future co-operation on software vulnerability with ENISA, the EU cyber- security agency. I understand that a proposal to set up a certification framework, with ENISA as the hub, is in the offing, so from that point we can calculate our needs and costs. Are the Government addressing this with ENISA, or is this subject to the ongoing Brexit negotiations?
Her Majesty’s Government might wish to consider hosting a state-level global conference to map out political, security and cyber dialogues and responsibilities and to co-ordinate necessary scrutiny and enforcement mechanisms.