A major review of British defence, security and foreign policy has been paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cabinet Office has said.
The majority of the Integrated Review, regarded as the biggest assessment of the UK’s foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, was due to be completed this year.
It is now not expected to start until 2021.
Tobias Ellwood, the Chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said he welcomed the delay.
“There would be no point in conducting an in-depth review of the nation's defence and security challenges to an artificial deadline, especially at a time when Whitehall is rightly focusing on tackling coronavirus,” he said.
“We look forward to engaging with the department when the review restarts, with the added element of the consequences of the pandemic to be considered."
A Government spokeswoman said the "pressing need is to focus on the response to the coronavirus pandemic".
The Integrated Review was set up in February and aims to ensure the UK is ready to deal with the challenges of the future, as well as evaluating the country's international strategy.
The review is also expected to look at ways to develop the Armed Forces' capabilities and procurement process.
Recommendations from the review are expected to implemented over a period of several years.
Cover image: PA.