UK Chancellor’s 5-year £4 trillion plan for national and economic security
At the end of November, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement which reported on the health of the UK economy, and the British Government’s spending plans for the next 5 years. In the same week, the British Government also released the results of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and the Aid Strategy Review. Each of these contain important news for the United States, including the UK’s friends in Washington State.
The top lines are:
The UK economy remains on track to grow 2.4% this year and next. No G7 economy has grown faster since 2010.
The Chancellor’s spending review set out a 5-year £4 trillion plan for national and economic security. Healthcare, defence, police and supporting a business-friendly environment are all priorities.
The SDSR will invest £178 billion in the UK’s defence capability over the next 10 years.
The UK is committed to simultaneously spending 2% of our GDP on defence, and 0.7% of our GNI on international development: the only country to do so.
Beyond the Autumn Statement’s broader positive economic messages, the SDSR and the Aid Strategy Review contain two important announcements relevant to Washington state:
The Aid Strategy Review announced a new partnership with the Gates Foundation on a £1 billion fund to tackle malaria and infectious diseases.
The SDSR announced that the UK Ministry of Defence will be ordering nine Boeing P8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft, all made in Renton. Boeing will also receive UK orders for Apache attack and Chinook support helicopters.
This will be my last column of 2015. I look forward to being back with more news next year, with updates about what I and my UK Trade & Investment colleagues have been getting up to in Seattle. So I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2016.
Consul (Government and Business Affairs), UKGO Seattle