In this briefing we examine the implications for business arising from the Government’s recently published Green Paper on Equipment, Support and Technology for UK Defence and Security. The Green Paper follows the publication in autumn 2010 of the Government’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The UK is now perceived to be facing “a different and more complex range of threats”, against the backdrop of constrained public finances due to the budget deficit. The Government has placed the focus on the private sector to harness technology, skills and job creation to lead the economic recovery. How should business in the Defence, Security and Technology sectors interpret these policies and respond to the opportunities created? What are the issues and risks and how can they be mitigated?
The UK Government is addressing the budget deficit and is relying in large part on the private sector successfully creating and sustaining jobs and being in the vanguard of the economic recovery. With the decline in public sector jobs and public spending, there is renewed emphasis on the importance of exports and of domestic private enterprise.
The Coalition appears to anticipate a response from the private sector, playing to the private sector’s strengths - a “can do” attitude coupled with agility in offering solutions. This sense of Government expectation of the private sector’s willingness to join in a mission with the state to secure financial recovery will however only successfully turn into reality if, i.) the Government’s objectives are sufficiently defined, ii.) there exists greater transparency of Government’s future intentions, and iii.) the Government properly recognises businesses’ need to be competitive and profitable. Only then will industry have the confidence to invest its money, time and resources in projects which will further the Government’s objectives.
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