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DSEI 2023: Will UK defence be 'on pause' until the next general election?

11th September 2023 - 15:30 GMT | by The Clarence in Whitehall


The UK's recently appointed Secretary of State for Defence will likely have little room for manoeuvre to tackle major decisions before the mandated general election in 2024. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

The 2023 edition of DSEI will be the last to be held during the current UK Parliament. With an election due within 16 months, is this the ‘end of term’ for the current government, and what are the prospects for the MoD and British defence more widely?

The recent resignation as UK Secretary of State for Defence by Ben Wallace MP and his replacement by Grant Shapps reinforces the sense that the clock is being run down ahead of 2024's inevitable general election. 

In post for four years, Wallace was seen both internally in government and by allies as a credible heavyweight minister, overseeing a rise in defence spending and leading the international response to supporting Ukraine. 

He also oversaw the delivery of two defence reviews, both of which seemed to sustain long-term funding growth for the MoD.

What will the new defence secretary be able to

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The Clarence


The Clarence

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