Defence Secretary Keynote Speech at DSEI 2017 – 13 September

13 Sep 2017 02:11 PM

Intro: Period Of Change

It’s a huge pleasure to be back at the world leading DSEI.

Apart from the fact this exhibition has grown in size and scale, with some 141 international delegates here from 60 countries, it has remained a remarkably stable landmark in an otherwise turbulent world.

Since last time we were here the UK has had two elections and a referendum in which the British people decided to leave Europe.

Meanwhile, on the international front we’ve seen North Korea threatening nuclear Armageddon, Russia maintaining its aggressive posture, waves of cyber crime like the Wannacry virus hit our hospitals and businesses and, touching on our theme today, terror, which has spread across the globe hitting us here in the UK in London and Manchester and recently devastating innocents in Barcelona.

At the start of the year the Doomsday Clock moved thirty seconds closer to midnight it seems they weren’t exaggerating. As the danger proliferates defence’s stock rises and the demand for the best kit goes through the roof. And today you’ll find us making maximum use of our capability; whether it’s sending HMS Ocean, C-17 and Puma Mk2 helicopters to the Caribbean to support humanitarian efforts in the wake of devastating Hurricane Irma, dispatching our Typhoons to bomb Daesh and protect Black Sea skies or deploying Challenger and Warrior to Estonia to provide critical reassurance to our Eastern European allies.

In an age of technological marvels and transnational threats this level of activity appears to be the new normal, which is why our response is evolving to meet new challenges.

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