Budget 2021: What about defence?
The UK announced in November 2020 that £16.5bn would be added to the defence settlement over the 2021–25 period.
This multi-year settlement will allow the Ministry of Defence to invest in several areas, including the long-term strategic aims of UK national security, defence, development, and foreign policy.
During his announcement last year Mr Johnson said:
“The international situation is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War and Britain must be true to our history and stand alongside our allies. To achieve this, we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board.
This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.”
Cyber security will play a huge part in protecting those living and working in the UK in the future, therefore Mr Johnson has established a National Cyber Force, which combines UK intelligence agencies and service personnel. The force is already operating in cyberspace against terrorism, organised crime, and hostile state activity.
The shipbuilding sector was also given a boost in November as the Prime Minister also revealed plans to invest heavily in the sector and the Royal Navy. During his statement to the House of Commons on the Integrated Review. Spend will be spread across the country including Glasgow and Rosyth, Belfast, Appledore and Birkenhead.
Mr Johnson said:
“We shall use our extra defence spending to restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe, taking forward our plans for eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates, and support ships to supply our carriers.
We are going to develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates. And this will spur a renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK.”
Opportunities for SMEs
Supporting SMEs is integral to the MOD’s goal to meet its target that 25% of procurement spend by value should go directly and indirectly to SMEs by 2022.
Small businesses have been behind some of the UK’s biggest defence projects. Ministry of Defence organisations like the Defence Infrastructure Organisation want to work with a diverse supply base and have implemented principles to make it easy for suppliers to do business with them.
SMEs are bringing innovation to the forefront of procurement, are a vital cog in the defence supply chain – and this relationship works both ways.
There are many reasons why you should choose to work with defence clients – and prompt payment is just one of the benefits. Public bodies – including defence and blue light buyers such as the MOD and the police – have a legal duty to pay supplier invoices within 30 days under the Prompt Payment Code.
Find defence contracts with S2D
The defence marketplace is huge and diverse, with contract values ranging from over £1bn to just a few hundred pounds.
Any business can find work within this sector as its buyers rely on the competitive public sector supply market to keep services across the UK running; therefore, government and defence contracts are a key area for businesses looking to expand, with plenty of lucrative opportunities.
Get started and gain access to free MOD tender alerts.
Writing for Supply2Defence, Richard Worthington, partner and patent attorney at European intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers considers whether the recent Suez canal blockage could