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Comment: Global Britain can only be built on a world-class economy

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The Government today publishes its Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, which it hopes will define its vision for the UK’s role in the world over the next decade.

There is much to welcome. The focus on counter-terrorism, in particular the threat of groups successfully launching chemical, biological and nuclear attacks, is sensible.

The understanding of climate change as a strategic threat chimes with everything we know about the way in which a warmer planet will impact our way of life. The strong line against Russia alongside a robust but measured approach to China is a level-headed approach.

But it raises two questions. Where is the focus on our post-Brexit co-operation with Europe? And how will Britain pay for its defence? Today, the Public Accounts Committee criticised the plan for the funding “black hole” at its centre, which it says could stretch to £17.4 billion, on top of the further potential cost estimated at £20 billion.

A strong national defence requires a vibrant economy. We must therefore do all we can to offset the economic damage of Brexit with a focus on job creation, fixing poor productivity levels and rebuilding public finances.

Global Britain can only be built on an economy that is truly world-class.

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