| 18 May 2024, Saturday |

Boris Johnson hopes to set a bold new course for Britain with next week’s £80bn Integrated Review reforms

Working on enhancing a better Britain, Boris Johnson is setting out biggest international strategy review in decades with a defense overhaul

When Boris Johnson arrives in India this spring he will not only be glowing with delight at his Covid vaccination success but confident that Britain is about reassert itself as a major global security player.

For that to happen, this coming Tuesday will prove a pivotal moment when the Prime Minister’s interpretation of ‘Global Britain’ is spelt out with ambitious new goals for the UK as a military, diplomatic and intelligence power.

Mr Johnson hopes to set a fresh course for Britain when he announces the Integrated Review, the biggest strategic shake-up in decades, signalling Britain’s emergence from Brexit and Covid-19.

The 100-page document will detail the country’s geopolitical trajectory with a “tilt East” in projecting power and seeking great alliances.

It is clear that the armed forces are going to face their biggest overhaul in decades, with winners and losers.

There is a desire to turn the military into a highly modern and relevant force with drones, artificial intelligence, cyber and space ambitions. The losses will be humans, with machines taking over. The Army will shrink from 82,000 to about 70,000 soldiers over the next five years.

With an extra £16 billion ($22bn) already allotted for defence, part of an £80 billion four year equipment plan, the document means a stronger Navy and a better-equipped Royal Air Force. The desire for Britain to project itself as a serious military global player is clear in the plans drawn up by the prime minister’s adviser John Bew and top civil servants.