Impact of the conflict in Ukraine: UK defence and the integrated review

Since the beginning of the 2022 Russian attack on Ukraine, there have been calls for the government to reconsider the policies outlined in its 2021 integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. On 9 June 2022, the House of Lords will debate the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, including its effect on the UK’s defence and foreign policy. This briefing looks at what the implications of the conflict might be on the UK’s strategic priorities as set out in the integrated review.

Impact of the conflict in Ukraine: UK defence and the integrated review

Queen’s Speech 2022: Foreign affairs, defence, and international development

This year’s Queen’s Speech takes place at a time of severe international tension, with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine dominating the policy agenda. At the same time, conflict in Yemen continues, as do the ramifications of the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan. In defence policy, NATO’s role has come to the fore in the face of Russian aggression, while domestically the UK military continues to undergo significant reform. In international development, focus remains on the UK’s spend on overseas assistance and how it can help those caught up in those conflict zones and elsewhere.

Queen’s Speech 2022: Foreign affairs, defence, and international development
  • In Focus

    AUKUS agreement to exchange naval nuclear propulsion information

    On 17 January 2022, the House of Lords is due to consider the agreement between the UK, Australia and the United States to exchange naval nuclear propulsion information. This article examines the details of the agreement. It also considers the international reaction to the formation between the three AUKUS security partnership countries.

  • In Focus

    Afghanistan: challenges for UK policy

    Even prior to the Taliban’s takeover, Afghanistan suffered from high levels of poverty and corruption and significant human rights issues. It was also heavily dependent on foreign aid. Many of these challenges have been exacerbated by the change of regime. This briefing summarises the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee’s report into UK policy towards Afghanistan and the Government’s response. It also considers recent developments and the potential future direction of UK policy.

  • In Focus

    UK-Ukraine Credit Support Agreement

    On 5 January 2022, the House of Lords is due to take note of the UK-Ukraine Credit Support Agreement. Amongst several measures, the agreement would provide the framework for a £1.7 billion loan package from the UK to enable Ukraine to purchase two British minesweeper vessels and retrofit UK weapons systems on Ukrainian existing vessels. This article considers the details of the agreement, in addition to the parliamentary scrutiny it has received to date.

  • Research Briefing

    Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Dayton agreement

    This briefing has been prepared in advance of a House of Lords debate on 16 December 2021 on Bosnia-Herzegovina and upholding the Dayton agreement. The briefing provides information on recent developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on warning from the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina that the Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina presidency, Milorad Dodik, was pursuing tacitly secessionist policies. It also summarises the international reaction to these developments.

  • In Focus

    ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ and threats facing the UK

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) published the command paper ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ on 22 March 2021, setting out how the UK’s defence capabilities will support the Government’s integrated review of security, defence, development, and foreign policy. The command paper contained a range of measures, including how the UK will respond to current and future threats. This article summarises those provisions ahead of a forthcoming debate in the House of Lords on these issues.

  • In Focus

    Covert human intelligence sources: criminal conduct

    Covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) have been used for decades to prevent or secure prosecutions for serious crimes, such as terrorism and human trafficking. The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 provided statutory powers to organisations, such as the intelligence agencies and law enforcement bodies, to authorise criminal activity by CHIS. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Criminal Conduct Authorisations) (Amendment) Order 2021 makes some necessary changes to existing legislation.

  • In Focus

    Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: Future of the Royal Marines

    The UK Government has announced substantial reforms of the armed services as part of the recent integrated review of defence and security policy, and an associated defence command paper, both published earlier this year. The reforms have significant implications across the services, including for the Royal Marines and the ongoing development of the Future Commando Force.

  • In Focus

    UK Government policy on Iran: the Iran nuclear deal and dual nationals

    The UK’s relationship with Iran has been under pressure from several significant issues, including trying to restore the Iran nuclear deal and Iran’s detention of British-Iranian dual nationals. The Iran nuclear deal was designed to limit Iran’s non-civilian nuclear development in return for sanctions relief. The agreement has been strained since the US withdrew in 2018 and Iran started to breach it. This briefing looks at the UK Government’s policy on these two issues.

  • Research Briefing

    Armed Forces Bill: Briefing for Lords stages

    The bill would extend parliamentary consent for the armed forces for a further five years, along with other provisions. This briefing considers: the background to the bill; what it would do and what happened during its passage through the House of Commons.

  • In Focus

    Timeline of Taliban offensive in Afghanistan

    Following the recent withdrawal of US and coalition forces, the Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan. It now holds all the key cities including the capital, Kabul. Some parts of the country were taken by force, whilst others saw the Afghan National Army withdraw. The Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, has reportedly fled the country.

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