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In Conversation with Sir David Lidington: Integrated Review and the UK’s standing on the world stage

In the latest instalment of the DSEI ‘In Conversation With’ series, DSEI’s Senior Defence Advisor Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall discussed the UK Integrated Review, foreign policy and the future of defence with Sir David Lidington, Chair of the Royal United Services Institute. Prior to becoming Chair of RUSI, Sir David was Minister for Europe, Minister for Cabinet Office and de facto Deputy Prime Minister.

Sir David Lidington was the MP for Aylesbury for 27 years, before stepping down in 2019. During this time he held numerous cabinet positions including Minister of State for Europe, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as well as being the opposition spokesman for topics including Northern Ireland and Foreign Affairs. In July 2020 he became Chair of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), replacing Lord Hague of Richmond. He also holds a PhD in history from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge


In their conversation they discuss the implications of the Integrated Review and the future of warfare, with an emphasis on the role of cyber and proxy warfare and how that feeds into current concepts of conflict.


Sir David commented upon his hopes for the Integrated Review, saying that a “clear and hard-headed analysis of UK national interests” is required. His concern over budgetary constraints could mean that the Integrated Review lacks “strategic vision and decision-making” which has the potential to harm the UK’s standing on the world stage. Other topics such as Russian methods of warfare, UK national interest and the implications of Covid19 on the UK armed forces were also explored.

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