Boris Johnson at Conservative manifesto launch
Politics

Boris Johnson Pledges Security, Defence And Foreign Policy Review

The proposed review would extend from the Armed Forces to the intelligence services, counter-terrorism forces and serious organised crime.

Boris Johnson at Conservative manifesto launch

Boris Johnson has promised the biggest review of Britain's security, defence and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War if he wins the general election.

Mr Johnson has pledged to conduct the major review - delving into the Armed Forces, intelligence services, counter-terrorism forces and serious organised crime - if the UK leaves the European Union.

Announcing his plan ahead of this week's NATO summit, Mr Johnson said the NATO alliance must be modernised rather than abandoned.

This review would be run from 10 Downing Street and would be one of the priorities in 2020, the Conservative Party said.

The party said the review would examine Whitehall's thinking on all aspects of deterrence, and consider ways in which technological surprise could threaten security.

The review would examine how Whitehall could be reformed to support integrated policy-making and operational planning across departments and agencies.

The Ministry of Defence, the Treasury, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Department for International Development and the Cabinet Office must modernise and use outside experts much more effectively, the Tories said.

Legal frameworks for all security forces operating at home and abroad would be examined, as well as the entire procurement process used by the Armed Forces, intelligence agencies and other security forces.

The review will also look at how the UK would prevent foreign governments acquiring breakthrough technologies, as well as considering how to strengthen British investments in space and the most advanced quantum technologies.

"If I am elected as prime minister, we will undertake the deepest review of Britain's security, defence and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War," said Mr Johnson.

"Unlike normal defence reviews, this review will extend from the Armed Forces to the intelligence services, counter-terrorism forces, and serious organised crime.

"It will also consider Global Britain's foreign policy: British alliances and diplomacy, shifts of power and wealth to Asia, how we can best use our huge expenditure on international development, and the role of technology.

"We must use money better, undertake a huge technological upgrade of all our security forces so they are ahead of hostile powers, terrorists, and organised crime - and unlike previous exercises, we must develop an integrated plan for all forces engaged in security," he added.

"While we are leaving the EU, we must strengthen cooperation with Europe on security. Our intelligence services already have highly effective cooperation, which will strengthen. But the foundation of European security since 1949 has been the NATO alliance and, on its 70th anniversary, we need to modernise it rather than abandon it."